The marginal blood pool of the rat contains not only granulocytes, but also lymphocytes, NK-cells and monocytes: a second intravascular compartment, its cellular composition, adhesion molecule expression and interaction with the peripheral blood pool

Scand J Immunol. 1996 Nov;44(5):461-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.1996.d01-334.x.


To leave the blood, leucocytes marginate to the vessel wall. Granulocytes thereby form the so-called marginal pool. It is unclear to what extent such a second intravascular compartment also exists for lymphocytes subsets, NK-cells and monocytes. Samples of the peripheral blood and the marginal pool of the LEW rat were analysed by flow cytometry. In the marginal pool the percentage of granulocytes and monocytes was significantly higher compared to that of the peripheral blood, and the proportion of 'naive' T and B lymphocytes was decreased. The expression of LFA-1 was higher on all leucocyte subsets of the marginal pool except the granulocytes, whereas no differences were seen for the expression of other adhesion molecules (alpha 4-integrins, ICAM-1, CD2, L-selectin, and CD44). In addition, splenectomy influenced the cellular composition of peripheral blood and marginal pool differently and, after injection of blood leucocytes, these cells were found in both compartments showing its characteristic cellular composition. Thus, not only granulocytes, but also B and T lymphocyte subsets, NK-cells and monocytes form a second distinct intravascular compartment. This marginal pool probably influences the cellular composition of leucocyte subsets available for entry into the tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Granulocytes
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Killer Cells, Natural
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocyte Transfusion
  • Leukocytes*
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / genetics
  • Lymphocytes
  • Male
  • Monocytes
  • Rats / blood*
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Reference Values
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Splenectomy


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1