Lymphocyte Migration Molecules
Recirculating lymphocytes leave the blood by selectively binding to specialized high endothelial venules (HEV) in the lymphoid organs of the body1. This binding is mediated by specific lymphocyte surface molecules called homing receptors2. Functionally distinct homing receptors control lymphocyte migration to peripheral lymph nodes, to mucosa-associated lymphatic tissues (appendix, Peyer’s patches) or to inflamed joint tissue (synovium)3,4. Most virgin lymphocytes appear to express all three different types of receptors and can, therefore, migrate throughout the body in search of antigen. Following antigenic activation the lymphocytes go through a nonmigratory phase after which many of them, as memory and effector cells, appear to express a single homing receptor class that controls their migration to particular tissues of the body similar to the site where they first encountered their cognate antigen. Thus, organ-specific homing receptors are thought to play an essential role in determining the characteristics of local immune responses2,5.
KeywordsSialic Acid Peripheral Lymph Node High Endothelial Venule Lymphocyte Migration Homing Receptor
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