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J Immunol. 1996 May 1;156(9):3111-7.

Differential expression of homing molecules on recirculating lymphocytes from sheep gut, peripheral, and lung lymph.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


The adhesion molecules integrin alpha 4 beta 7 and L-selectin have been hypothesized to help direct selective migration (homing) of lymphocytes to the gut and peripheral lymph nodes, respectively. An important prediction of current models is that lymphocytes selectively recirculating through an organ will preferentially express adhesion receptors for organ-specific endothelial ligands. To test this prediction, we directly examined the expression of cell adhesion molecules on lymphocytes recirculating through the gut, the periphery, and the lung. Integrin beta 7 was highly expressed on CD4+CD45R- "memory/effector" T cells recirculating through the gut (mesenteric efferent and lower thoracic duct lymph). In contrast, cells recirculating through the periphery (prescapular efferent lymph) and the lung (caudal mediastinal efferent lymph) had much less beta 7 expression. A similar pattern of organ-specific beta 7 expression was seen on B cells. Beta 7 expression corresponded with adhesion to the gut mucosal addressin, MAdCAM-1, in vitro. The peripheral lymph node homing receptor, L-selectin, was expressed at higher levels on CD4+CD45R- T cells from peripheral lymph than on cells from gut or lung lymph. These results provide additional strong support for alpha 4 beta 7 and L-selectin involvement in lymphocyte homing to the gut and to peripheral lymph nodes, respectively. Lymphocytes emigrating from the lung expressed low levels of both homing receptors and likely utilize molecules other than alpha 4 beta 7 and L-selectin for migration to the lung and associated lymphoid tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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