Control of dendritic cell trafficking in lymphatics by chemokines

Angiogenesis. 2014 Apr;17(2):335-45. doi: 10.1007/s10456-013-9407-0.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial participants in maintaining immune surveillance of the periphery and initiating primary immune responses within the draining lymph nodes. The afferent lymphatic vessels provide a conduit for this essential trafficking and, as this review will describe, play an active role in regulating DC migration. Afferent lymphatic capillaries support constitutive trafficking of DCs from resting, non-inflamed tissue, to maintain tolerance against self-antigen and to provide immune surveillance. Following exposure to pathogens or pro-inflammatory cytokines, DCs mature from phagocytes to professional antigen-presenting cells, whilst the lymphatic endothelium adopts an activated phenotype to support the ensuing increase in leukocyte trafficking. The lymphatic endothelial-derived chemokine CCL21 plays a well-characterized role in directing migration of CCR7+ DC in both resting and acute inflammatory conditions. However, efficient trafficking of DCs from inflamed tissue also demands additional chemokine-receptor pairs. Thus, entry of DCs to activated lymphatic vessels is an intricately regulated multi-step process involving numerous chemokines and adhesion molecules.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Lymphatic / cytology
  • Endothelium, Lymphatic / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Vessels / cytology*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism


  • Chemokines
  • Receptors, Chemokine