T cell trafficking in allergic asthma: the ins and outs

Annu Rev Immunol. 2008;26:205-32. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.26.021607.090312.


T cells are critical mediators of the allergic airway inflammation seen in asthma. Pathogenic allergen-specific T cells are generated in regional lymph nodes and are then recruited into the airway by chemoattractants produced by the asthmatic lung. These recruited effector T cells and their products then mediate the cardinal features of asthma: airway eosinophilia, mucus hypersecretion, and airway hyperreactivity. There has been considerable progress in delineating the molecular mechanisms that control T cell trafficking into peripheral tissue, including the asthmatic lung. In this review, we summarize these advances and formulate them into a working model that proposes that T cell trafficking into and out of the allergic lung is controlled by several discrete regulatory pathways that involve the collaboration of innate and acquired immune cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Chemokines / immunology
  • Chemotaxis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Chemokines