Lymphocyte recruitment to the lung


Lymphocyte recruitment in lymphoid tissues and inflammatory sites occurs in response to two events. The first is adherence of lymphocytes to specialized molecules expressed on the surface of appropriately stimulated vascular endothelial cells known as vascular addressins. The interaction occurs via specialized lymphocyte surface molecules known as homing receptors. There is considerable diversity among these molecules. At least three, and possibly four, different addressin-homing receptor pairs exist, regulating entry into peripheral lymph nodes, gut lymphoid tissue, BALT and intrathoracic lymphoid tissue, and inflamed synovium. Vascular addressins are expressed by specialized endothelial cells known as HEV. HEV are not found in normal lung parenchyma but may be induced to appear during an immune response. The mechanism for induction of HEV is unknown, although it may involve the action of inflammatory cytokines. It is not known whether separate endothelial cells exist with propensity to develop into HEV or if any endothelial cells will develop into HEV if stimulated in the proper manner. Other accessory, lymphocyte-endothelium adhesion molecule pairs have been described, including LFA-1-ICAM-1 and CD4-HLA-DR. These molecules are induced by exposure of the endothelium to inflammatory cytokines, chiefly IFN-γ. Thus, local humoral influences present during inflammation can alter the possibility of lymphocyte traffic through the endothelium by regulating the presence of lymphocyte adherence molecules. These processes have been documented to occur in the lung in normal homeostasis (e.g., BALT) and in disease (e.g., immunization with SRBC). After adherence, lymphocytes exit the circulation via amoeboid motility. This motility can be altered and enhanced through chemoattractant substances that act via surface receptors. The biochemical basis of cell motility is not entirely clear but appears to involve a link between the second messengers of receptor signaling and changes in the cytoskeleton, particularly actin filaments and microtubules. Like fibroblasts and smooth muscle cells, lymphocytes appear to respond to a number of 'mitoattractants,' substances that cause cell cycle entry and/or progression as well as enhanced motility. This relationship illustrates the integral relationship between cell motility and proliferation and suggests that the process of cell recruitment might also prime the recruitment cells to become activated to proliferate and perform effector function.

Publication Title

American Review of Respiratory Disease