Transepithelial migration of neutrophils

Invasion Metastasis. 1998-1999;18(2):70-80. doi: 10.1159/000024500.


Neutrophils are a key cell type of nonadaptive immune system and are the first phagocytic cell type that reaches mucosal inflammatory sites. On the last stage of their journey from the blood stream to a mucosal surface, neutrophils cross a generally sealed epithelium by migrating along the paracellular pathway to the luminal side of the epithelial layer. This last step involves a specific receptor-mediated adhesion event of the neutrophil to the epithelium, followed by a rapid and highly coordinated reversible opening of the epithelial intercellular junctions that allows the transmigration of the neutrophils. Although we do not yet understand the molecular mechanisms that mediate this transmigration process, the last years witnessed the discovery of the first neutrophil and epithelial cell surface proteins critically involved in transepithelial migration of neutrophils.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / physiology
  • CD47 Antigen
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Chemotactic Factors / physiology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology*
  • Dogs
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelium / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology
  • Junctional Adhesion Molecules
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Occludin
  • Osmolar Concentration


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD47 Antigen
  • CD47 protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Junctional Adhesion Molecules
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Membrane Proteins
  • OCLN protein, human
  • Occludin