T cells must find their way to sites of infection or inflammation to mediate an effective immune response. In the October issue of Nature Immunology, scientists have discovered how T cells home to problem areas in the body.
Three groups have now found that the lipid leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is a major mediator of the migration of 'effector' T cells. The recruitment of CD4+ and CD8+ effector T cells to the inflamed site early in the response requires LTB4. This lipid is most likely released by activated mast cells (one of the 'sentinel cells' of the tissue's early warning system) and other leukocytes that reside in the inflamed tissues. Although further work will be required to establish the applicability of these findings to clinical settings, pharmacological inhibition of LTB4 could prove useful for inhibiting recruitment of pathogenic effector cells in inflammatory diseases.
Vanessa Lujuan Ott
National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO, USA
Tel: +1 303 398 1228
Ulrich H. von Andrian
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Tel: +1 617 278 3130
Andrew D. Luster
Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
Tel: +1 617 726 5710
Additional contact for comment on papers:
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, San Diego, CA, USA
Tel: +1 858 678 4574
Article 1 online.
Article 2 online.
Article 3 online.
(C) Nature Immunology press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza