Distinct migration patterns of naive and effector CD8 T cells in the spleen: correlation with CCR7 receptor expression and chemokine reactivity

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Nov;29(11):3562-70. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199911)29:11<3562::AID-IMMU3562>3.0.CO;2-R.


Changes in the migration pattern of lymphocytes represent a key event in the evolution of an immune response since they enable lymphocytes to gain access to infected tissues. We studied the location of virus-specific CD8 T cells in various splenic compartments in response to infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), either in situ or by adoptive cell transfers using T cells from transgenic (tg) mice expressing an LCMV-specific TCR. Naive tg T cells were predominantly localized in the periarteriolar lymphoid sheath, where they proliferated extensively after virus infection. In contrast, in vivo activated effector T cells failed to enter white pulp areas and accumulated in the red pulp. The different homing patterns of naive and effector CD8 T cells in vivo correlated well with their CCR7 chemokine receptor expression and their reactivity to the secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC). Thus, down-regulation of CCR7 expression on CD8 effector T cells rendered them unre sponsive to SLC, which controls T cell homing into white pulp of spleen and lymph nodes. Exclusion of CD8 effector T cells from these sites may represent an important mechanism to protect professional antigen-presenting cells from cytotoxic T cell attack and thus to prevent a prematuredecline of the immune response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Chemokine CCL19
  • Chemokine CCL21
  • Chemokines, CC / immunology
  • Chemotaxis / physiology
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology


  • Ccl19 protein, mouse
  • Ccl21c protein, mouse
  • Ccr7 protein, mouse
  • Chemokine CCL19
  • Chemokine CCL21
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine