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Cell Adhes Commun. 1998;6(2-3):85-96.

In situ analysis of lymphocyte migration to lymph nodes.

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Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Blood-borne lymphocytes migrate continuously to peripheral lymph nodes (PLN) and other organized lymphoid tissues where they are most likely to encounter their cognate antigen. Lymphocyte homing to PLN is a highly regulated process that occurs exclusively in specialized high endothelial venules (HEV) in the nodal paracortex. Recently, it has become possible to explore this vital aspect of peripheral immune surveillance by intravital microscopy of the subiliac lymph node microcirculation in anesthetized mice. This paper reviews technical and experimental aspects of the new model and summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of lymphocyte homing to PLN which were derived from its use. Both lymphocytes and granulocytes initiate rolling interactions via L-selectin binding to the peripheral node addressin (PNAd) in PLN HEV. Subsequently, a G protein-coupled chemoattractant stimulus activates LFA-1 on rolling lymphocytes, but not on granulocytes. Thus, granulocytes continue to roll through the PLN, whereas LFA-1 activation allows lymphocytes to arrest and emigrate into the extravascular compartment. We have also identified a second homing pathway that allows L-selectin low/(activated/memory) lymphocytes to home to PLN. P-selectin on circulating activated platelets can mediate simultaneous platelet adhesion to PNAd in HEV and to P-selectin glycoprotein ligand (PSGL)-1 on lymphocytes. Through this mechanism, platelets can form a cellular bridge which can effectively substitute for the loss of L-selectin on memory cell subsets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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