Behavior of Parasite-Specific Effector CD8+ T Cells in the Brain and Visualization of a Kinesis-Associated System of Reticular Fibers

Immunity. 2009 Feb 20;30(2):300-11. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.12.013. Epub 2009 Jan 22.


To understand lymphocyte behavior in the brain, we used two-photon microscopy to visualize effector CD8(+) T cells during toxoplasmic encephalitis. These cells displayed multiple behaviors with two distinct populations of cells apparent: one with a constrained pattern of migration and one with a highly migratory subset. The proportion of these populations varied over time associated with changes in antigen availability as well as T cell expression of the inhibitory receptor PD1. Unexpectedly, the movement of infiltrating cells was closely associated with an infection-induced reticular system of fibers. This observation suggests that, whereas in other tissues pre-existing scaffolds exist that guide lymphocyte migration, in the brain specialized structures are induced by inflammation that guide migration of T cells in this immune-privileged environment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System / immunology
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Toxoplasma / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Cerebral / immunology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Cerebral / parasitology*
  • Toxoplasmosis, Cerebral / pathology