Editors' ChoiceImmunology

A Well-Defined Path

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Science Signaling  22 Jan 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 259, pp. ec24
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003975

Although chemokines have long been thought to direct immune cell movements within tissues, a formal in vivo demonstration and detailed understanding are lacking. By tracking dendritic cell movements in the ears of mice, Weber et al. were able to provide both. Endogenous gradients of the chemokine CCL21 were observed in ear tissue and, at distances of up 90μm, dendritic cells were able to use these gradients to migrate directionally toward lymphatic vessels. The CCL21 gradient was immobilized on heparan sulfates and disruption of the gradient inhibited dendritic cell migration.

M. Weber, R. Hauschild, J. Schwarz, C. Moussion, I. de Vries, D. F. Legler, S. A. Luther, T. Bollenbach, M. Sixt, Interstitial dendritic cell guidance by haptotactic chemochine gradients. Science 339, 328–331 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]