Lymphocyte emigration from high endothelial venules in rat lymph nodes

Immunology. 1976 Nov;31(5):731-48.


Sequential events during lymphocyte emigration from high endothelial venuses (HEV) were studied by scanning and transmission electron microscopy combined with regional perfusion techniques. The results indicate that blood lymphocytes selectively adhere to HEV surfaces through microvilli which attach to shallow pits on the luminal surfaces of high endothelial cells. These intercellular contact points resist hydrodynamic and osmotic shearing forces, but can be disrupted by treatments which remove endothelial glycocalyx, hydrolyse lymphocyte surface glycoproteins, or chelate divalent cations. After this initial attachment phase, lymphocytes enter apical clefts between endothelial cells where they assume a motile configuration characterized by loss of microvilli and formation of irregular surface folds. Intramural lymphocytes adhere to adjacent endothelial cells through macular and villous contacts. Fibrillar electron-dense material traverses the 15-20 nm gap at these points of adhesion. Microtubules and microfilaments are also seen around areas of cytoplasmic constriction in these motile lymphocytes. The migrating lymphocytes show cytoplasmic polarity which is oriented in the direction of movement as they pass through extracellular spaces in the venular wall and cross successive laminations in the perivascular sheath to enter the node. Since these lymphocytes enter channels between endothelial cells which are stained by intralymphatic injections with horseradish peroxidase, it is suggested that their entry into the node depends upon migration along a chemotactic gradient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cell Movement*
  • Endothelium
  • Extracellular Space
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymph Nodes / blood supply*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Rats