Journal Article

Cyclical expression of <span class="smallCaps">L</span>-selectin (CD62L) by recirculating T cells

Antje Klinger, Andreas Gebert, Katja Bieber, Kathrin Kalies, Ann Ager, Eric B. Bell and Jürgen Westermann

in International Immunology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society for Immunology

Volume 21, issue 4, pages 443-455
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0953-8178
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2377 | DOI:
Cyclical expression of L-selectin (CD62L) by recirculating T cells

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L-Selectin (CD62L) mediates T-cell entry into lymph nodes. Whether the microenvironment modulates L-selectin expression of T cells during diapedesis and transit is unknown. Therefore, L-selectin expression was determined quantitatively on circulating T cells in blood, lymph nodes and thoracic duct by confocal laser scanning microscopy. We show that in contrast to leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (CD11a/CD18) and ICAM-1 (CD54), L-selectin expression is cyclically expressed on recirculating T cells. It is reduced to ∼30% of the blood value during entry across high endothelial venules. Within lymph nodes, CD4+ T-cell subsets maintain reduced L-selectin expression at a similar level in all compartments (T-cell zone, B-cell zone and medulla). After exit, L-selectin is re-expressed to levels comparable to those of T cells in blood. Apparently, L-selectin levels are not only down-regulated during T-cell activation but also routinely reduced while transmigrating within lymph nodes. L-Selectin down-regulation seems to be ligand independent since it also occurs in the white pulp compartments of the spleen which lack classic L-selectin ligands such as GlyCAM-1 and CD34. In addition, T cells in non-lymphoid organs do not reveal reduced L-selectin levels. Thus, the ability of secondary lymphoid organs to reduce L-selectin expression of T cells prior to activation might be a prerequisite for their characteristic property to induce primary immune responses.

Keywords: CD62L; CLSM; ICAM-1; image analysis; LFA-1; L-selectin; lymph node; migration; organ compartments; rat; T cell

Journal Article.  7619 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences ; Immunology

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