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Nature. 1994 Nov 10;372(6502):190-3.

Adhesion between epithelial cells and T lymphocytes mediated by E-cadherin and the alpha E beta 7 integrin.

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Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


In contrast to sessile cell types, lymphocytes migrate through the vasculature to become diffusely distributed in tissues or organized in lymphoid structures. A complex array of adhesion molecules including selectins, integrins and their counter-receptors mediate lymphocyte homing and migration into tissues and may be constitutively expressed or induced. However, the molecules that mediate the tissue-specific retention of lymphocytes within the parenchyma have not been identified. Along the epithelium at the basolateral surface of enterocytes, intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes are found. These T cells of the mucosal immune system serve as a model for the tissue-specific compartmentalization of lymphocytes. We investigated whether the localization of these intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes could be mediated by specific interactions between adhesion molecules expressed selectively on this subpopulation of T cells and tissue-restricted adhesion molecules on epithelial cells. Here we show that heterotypic adhesive interactions between epithelial cells and intraepithelial lymphocytes in vitro are mediated by E-cadherin and the alpha E beta 7 integrin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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