Getting leukocytes to the site of inflammation

Vet Pathol. 2013 Jan;50(1):7-22. doi: 10.1177/0300985812469883.


There is no "response" in either the innate or adaptive immune response unless leukocytes cross blood vessels. They do this through the process of diapedesis, in which the leukocyte moves in ameboid fashion through tightly apposed endothelial borders (paracellular transmigration) and in some cases through the endothelial cell itself (transcellular migration). This review summarizes the steps leading up to diapedesis, then focuses on the molecules and mechanisms responsible for transendothelial migration. Surprisingly, many of the same molecules and mechanisms that regulate paracellular migration also control transcellular migration, including a major role for membrane from the recently described lateral border recycling compartment. A hypothesis that integrates the various known mechanisms of transmigration is proposed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Leukocytes / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Transendothelial and Transepithelial Migration / physiology*


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules