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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Imprimir: 1040-8401
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v18.i3.10
pages 153-184

Expression of T Lymphocyte Adhesion Molecules: Regulation During Antigen-Induced T Cell Activation and Differentiation

Morris O. Dailey
Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa.


The pattern of lymphocyte traffic and migration in vivo is a composite of constitutive recirculation and transient changes induced by interaction with antigen. Naive T lymphocytes in their basal, unstimulated state continuously recirculate throughout the entire host, poised to react to specific antigens that they are programmed to recognize. After interaction with antigen, T cell traffic changes, first with the trapping of reactive cells in antigen-containing lymphoid tissue. Subsequently, the effector cells responding to antigen, accompanied by nonspecific T cells and monocytes, traffic in large numbers to sites of antigen localization, resulting in the localized inflammatory response. Then, as the immune response wanes, memory T cells develop, many of which exhibit still different routes of recirculation. The traffic and tissue localization of leukocytes is regulated by a series of cell surface adhesion molecules that recognize specific ligands on endothelial cells and in the extracellular matrix. Modulation of the expression of these adhesion molecules results in the changes in T cell traffic that are characteristic of each stage of T cell differentiation. Thus, during T cell activation and differentiation, the down-regulation of adhesion receptors specific for lymphoid tissue endothelium and up-regulation of integrins facilitate the targeting of effector cells to sites of inflammation. Subsequent changes in adhesion receptors regulate the traffic of the antigen-specific memory cells. T cell adhesion molecule expression is therefore regulated as a function of the stage of activation and differentiation and, in addition, is influenced by cytokines and the local lymphoid microenvironment.

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