Lymphocyte Recirculation and Life Span In Vivo
Lymphocytes represent a predominant component of the white blood cells, yet they seem to spend a surprisingly short part of their life history in the blood. In addition, even though they derive their name from being the overwhelmingly dominant cell of lymph, they also seem to spend rather short periods of time in lymphatic vessels (Abernethy and Hay 1992). Nevertheless, many, if not most, lymphocytes continuously move through tissues via these two distinct circulatory systems. This is a highly dynamic process, a feature sometimes overlooked or ignored in studies that require the analysis of cells from dead or fixed tissue at a given point in time. This is not to say that the specific distribution patterns seen in fixed tissues are not relevant or important, but such patterns may not reflect the true physiological interactions and function of a particular cell type in a given tissue, since the time spent may be a significant variable.
KeywordsLymphocyte Subset Sheep Fetus Lymphocyte Migration Lymphocyte Homing Thoracic Duct Lymph
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