Memory T-cell trafficking: new directions for busy commuters

Immunology. 2010 Jun;130(2):158-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2010.03278.x. Epub 2010 Apr 12.


The immune system is unique in representing a network of interacting cells of enormous complexity and yet being based on single cells travelling around the body. The development of effective and regulated immunity relies upon co-ordinated migration of each cellular component, which is regulated by diverse signals provided by the tissue. Co-ordinated migration is particularly relevant to the recirculation of primed T cells, which, while performing continuous immune surveillance, need to promptly localize to antigenic sites, reside for a time sufficient to carry out their effector function and then efficiently leave the tissue to avoid bystander damage. Recent advances that have helped to clarify a number of key molecular mechanisms underlying the complexity and efficiency of memory T-cell trafficking, including antigen-dependent T-cell trafficking, the regulation of T-cell motility by costimulatory molecules, T-cell migration out of target tissue and fugetaxis, are reviewed in this article.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / physiology*
  • Immunologic Surveillance / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*