Activation of bone marrow-resident memory T cells by circulating, antigen-bearing dendritic cells

Nat Immunol. 2005 Oct;6(10):1029-37. doi: 10.1038/ni1249. Epub 2005 Sep 11.


Dendritic cells (DCs) carry antigen from peripheral tissues via lymphatics to lymph nodes. We report here that differentiated DCs can also travel from the periphery into the blood. Circulating DCs migrated to the spleen, liver and lung but not lymph nodes. They also homed to the bone marrow, where they were retained better than in most other tissues. Homing of DCs to the bone marrow depended on constitutively expressed vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and endothelial selectins in bone marrow microvessels. Two-photon intravital microscopy in bone marrow cavities showed that DCs formed stable antigen-dependent contacts with bone marrow-resident central memory T cells. Moreover, using this previously unknown migratory pathway, antigen-pulsed DCs were able to trigger central memory T cell-mediated recall responses in the bone marrow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / blood supply
  • Bone Marrow / immunology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Congenic
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Selectins / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism


  • Selectins
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1