Factors and signals that govern the migration of dendritic cells via lymphatics: recent advances

Springer Semin Immunopathol. 2005 Jan;26(3):273-87. doi: 10.1007/s00281-004-0168-0.


Dendritic cell (DC) migration from peripheral organs to lymph nodes plays a key role in initiating immune responses, whether migratory DCs bring antigen in tow to lymph nodes or position themselves to capture antigen that drains into the lymph node. CCR7 prominently controls DC migration into afferent lymphatic vessels and the positioning of DCs within the lymph node. Expression of CCR7 is not sufficient for function, as its function is positively regulated by a variety of other extracellular triggers. At least one of these triggers, synthesis and secretion of PGE(2), is brought on by the activation of p38 MAP kinase. The MAP kinase pathway has been well studied in DCs and exhibits a complex regulatory role in which the activation of different MAP kinase members leads to biologically distinct outcomes that are dependent upon stage of differentiation at the time of activation as well as the duration of signaling. Almost all of our knowledge of how DCs mature and ultimately mobilize to lymph nodes comes from studies in which DC migration is probed in the context of immune activation and priming. A reasonable body of evidence has gathered to suggest that many molecular events important for DC migration in this context do not affect accumulation of DCs in lymph nodes in the steady state, but mediators that interface with the signaling adaptor DAP-12 may play key roles in the steady state. It may thus become possible to devise approaches to modulate DC mobilization in the context of inflammation without affecting the traffic of DCs during more quiescent conditions. Considering the finely tuned regulation of DC maturation, migration, and cytokine production, with the realization that these phenotypes can be mutually exclusive, manipulation of DC migration in the clinic will be a challenging, albeit feasible, task.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase / metabolism
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Cell Movement
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukotriene C4 / metabolism
  • Lymphatic System / cytology
  • Lymphatic System / immunology
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mice
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Antigens, CD
  • CCR7 protein, human
  • Ccr7 protein, mouse
  • Cytokines
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Tyrobp protein, mouse
  • Leukotriene C4
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • CD38 protein, human
  • Cd38 protein, mouse
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Dinoprostone