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Nature. 1989 Nov 2;342(6245):78-82.

Leu-8/TQ1 is the human equivalent of the Mel-14 lymph node homing receptor.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


The human pan-leukocyte antigen Leu-8 has attracted wide interest because its presence or absence identifies suppressor-inducer and helper-inducer CD4+ T-lymphocyte subsets respectively. We report here that Leu-8 is the human homologue of the mouse Mel-14 homing receptor, a molecule that promotes the initial adhesion of blood-borne lymphocytes to the specialized post-capillary endothelium of peripheral lymph nodes. We also show that Leu-8 can adopt both conventional and phospholipid anchored forms, a finding that may have relevance in the context of antigen shedding following activation or homing. The assignment of lymphocytes to different functional classes based on lymph node homing potential may represent a more general association between lymphocyte function and tissue distribution.

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