Cytoskeletal rearrangement during migration and activation of T lymphocytes

Trends Cell Biol. 1999 Jun;9(6):228-33. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(99)01553-6.


T lymphocytes have an inherent ability to migrate along a chemotactic gradient, which enables them to exit the bloodstream and reach different tissues. Motile T cells display a polarized morphology with two distinct cell compartments: the leading edge and the uropod. During cell polarization, chemoattractant receptors, cell-adhesion molecules and cytoskeletal proteins are redistributed within these cellular compartments. The polarity of T lymphocytes changes during the establishment of antigen-specific cell-cell interactions, and this involves rearrangement of cytoskeletal proteins. This article discusses the regulation of these cytoskeletal rearrangements, and their role in the activation, migration and effector function of T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / physiology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell