A distinct endothelial cell recognition system that controls lymphocyte traffic into inflamed synovium

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Science  01 Aug 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4763, pp. 556-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.3726548


Lymphocytes are essential mediators of normal tissue inflammatory reactions and of pathologic tissue damage in, for example, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. In a study of the mechanisms controlling lymphocyte entry into sites of inflammation from the blood, the function and specificity of lymphocyte-endothelial interactions were examined in inflamed joint tissue (synovium) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Synovial high endothelial venules (HEV) supported the binding of normal peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro. The characteristics of this binding, which were similar to those of lymphocyte-HEV interactions controlling lymphocyte migration into organized lymphoid tissues, included a requirement for calcium ions, a dependence on metabolic activity, and a preferential adherence of circulating lymphocytes as opposed to immature thymocytes. However, the binding of lymphocytes to synovial HEV was not inhibited by a monoclonal antibody to lymphocyte receptors for lymph node HEV, and synovial HEV failed to bind either lymph node HEV-specific or mucosal HEV-specific B lymphoblastoid cells. The results suggest that a lymphocyte-endothelial cell recognition system that is distinct from such systems in organized lymphoid tissues directs the extravasation of normal lymphocytes as well as pathologically important effector cells into inflamed synovium.