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Front Immunol. 2016 May 13;7:194. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00194. eCollection 2016.

Microenvironmental Control of High-Speed Interstitial T Cell Migration in the Lymph Node.

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Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata University , Niigata , Japan.
Department of Molecular Genetics, Institute of Biomedical Science, Kansai Medical University , Hirakata , Japan.


T cells are highly concentrated in the lymph node (LN) paracortex, which serves an important role in triggering adoptive immune responses. Live imaging using two-photon laser scanning microscopy revealed vigorous and non-directional T cell migration within this area at average velocity of more than 10 μm/min. Active interstitial T cell movement is considered to be crucial for scanning large numbers of dendritic cells (DCs) to find rare cognate antigens. However, the mechanism by which T cells achieve such high-speed movement in a densely packed, dynamic tissue environment is not fully understood. Several new findings suggest that fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) and DCs control T cell movement in a multilateral manner. Chemokines and lysophosphatidic acid produced by FRCs cooperatively promote the migration, while DCs facilitate LFA-1-dependent motility via expression of ICAM-1. Furthermore, the highly dense and confined microenvironment likely plays a key role in anchorage-independent motility. We propose that T cells dynamically switch between two motility modes; anchorage-dependent and -independent manners. Unique tissue microenvironment and characteristic migration modality of T cells cooperatively generate high-speed interstitial movement in the LN.


T cell; adhesion; chemokine; dendritic cell; fibroblastic reticular cell; integrin; lymph node; migration

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