Adhesive interactions in the immune system

Trends Cell Biol. 1997 Jul;7(7):289-95. doi: 10.1016/S0962-8924(97)01076-3.


The immune system is composed of bone-marrow-derived, nucleated cells, many of which circulate through the mammalian host in search of sites of pathogen invasion and other environmental dangers. The key to successful host defence is the ability of these leukocytes to mobilize rapidly to such sites of perturbation of homeostasis. Regulated adhesive interactions of these cells with the endothelium, extracellular matrix, cells of the solid organs and each other are a central feature of the immune response. This review considers the molecules involved in adhesion by cells of the immune system - with particular emphasis on the aspects of adhesion that are unique to leukocytes, namely transendothelial migration, regulation of adhesiveness, and leukocyte activation.