The role of CD31, an Ig-like molecule expressed by leukocytes and endothelial cells (ECs), in the regulation of T lymphocyte trafficking remains contentious. Using CD31-deficient mice, we show that CD31 regulates both constitutive and inflammation-induced T cell migration in vivo. Specifically, T cell:EC interactions mediated by CD31 molecules are required for efficient localization of naive T lymphocytes to secondary lymphoid tissue and constitutive recirculation of primed T cells to nonlymphoid tissues. In inflammatory conditions, T cell:EC CD31-mediated interactions facilitate T cell recruitment to Ag-rich sites. However, endothelial CD31 also provides a gate-keeping mechanism to limit the rate of Ag-driven T cell extravasation. This event contributes to the formation of Ag-specific effector T cell infiltrates and is induced by recognition of Ag on the endothelium. In this context, CD31 engagement is required for restoring endothelial continuity, which is temporarily lost upon MHC molecule ligation by migrating cognate T cells. We propose that integrated adhesive and signaling functions of CD31 molecules exert a complex regulation of T cell trafficking, a process that is differentially adapted depending on cell-specific expression, the presence of inflammatory conditions and the molecular mechanism facilitating T cell extravasation.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Immunology and Allergy