Small recirculating lymphocytes

Most of the lymphocytes in blood are recirculating cells. These cells give poor responses to most cytokines which have been reported to be lymphocyte chemotactic factors. It is difficult to induce more than 5-10% of blood lymphocytes to respond to any of these agents. However, small lymphocytes show a rapid change from a spherical to a polarized shape on contact with cultured HEV cell monolayers. Many of the cells transmigrate rapidly across to the undersurface of the monolayer where they continue to show active locomotion. It is likely that locomotion is activated by contact between specific surface molecules on the lymphocyte and the HEV. The chemokine, stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) has recently been shown to attract resting T cells and is therefore likely to be a signal for lymphocyte recirculation.

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