Evidence that a significant number of naive T cells enter non-lymphoid organs as part of a normal migratory pathway

Eur J Immunol. 2006 Jun;36(6):1423-33. doi: 10.1002/eji.200535539.


Only activated and effector memory T cells are thought to access non-lymphoid tissues. In contrast, naive T cells are thought to circulate only between the blood, lymph and secondary lymphoid organs. We examined the phenotype of endogenous T cells in various non-lymphoid organs and showed that a subset of cells exhibited an apparently naive phenotype and were functionally inactive. FTY720 treatment selectively depleted this population from the non-lymphoid tissues. In addition, RAG-deficient TCR transgenic CD4 and CD8 T cells were present in non-lymphoid tissues in bone marrow chimeric mice and in situ imaging analysis revealed their location in the parenchymal tissues. Moreover, migration of TCR transgenic T cells to non-lymphoid tissues after adoptive transfer was pertussis-toxin resistant. Overall, the results suggest that naive T cells may circulate through non-lymphoid tissues as part of their normal migratory pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / immunology
  • CD11a Antigen / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Liver / immunology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Pertussis Toxin / pharmacology
  • Propylene Glycols / pharmacology
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology
  • Skin / immunology
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sphingosine / pharmacology


  • CD11a Antigen
  • Ccr7 protein, mouse
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Propylene Glycols
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Fingolimod Hydrochloride
  • Sphingosine