Tissue-specific migration pathways by phenotypically distinct subpopulations of memory T cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A proportion of T cells recirculate in a tissue-selective manner. Recent studies which showed that the skin-tropic subset of T cells was of memory/activated type, led us to examine whether the preferential homing of T cells to the gut also involved memory T cells, and if so whether these memory T cells were phenotypically distinct from other memory T cells. Lymphocytes migrating through the gut and the skin of sheep was collected by cannulating the lymphatic ducts draining these tissues. Both naive and memory T cells were found to recirculate through the gut, although only memory T cells migrated through the skin. However, when T cells from the gut were labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate and assessed for their migration back to the gut, it was the memory population which showed a tropism for the gut. Gut-tropic memory T cells migrated poorly through the skin, indicating that these cells were distinct from skin-tropic memory T cells. This was confirmed by phenotypic analysis. Gut memory T cells expressed very low levels of the alpha 6 and beta 1 integrins, in contrast to skin memory T cells which expressed high levels. There was no evidence for heterogeneity within the naive T cell population, which migrated preferentially to lymph nodes. This migration pattern could be explained in part by the high expression of the L-selectin (lymph node homing receptor, LAM-1) on naive T cells, in contrast to memory T cells from gut or skin which were mostly L-selectin negative. These results in sheep indicate that subsets of alpha/beta memory T cells show tissue-selective migration patterns, which probably develop in a particular environment following encounter with antigen.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mackay, CR; Marston, WL; Dudler, L; Spertini, O; Tedder, TF; Hein, WR

Published Date

  • April 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 887 - 895

PubMed ID

  • 1372559

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0014-2980

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/eji.1830220402


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany