Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Lymphocyte homeostasis and immune surveillance require that T and B cells continuously recirculate between secondary lymphoid organs. Here, we used intravital microscopy to define lymphocyte trafficking routes within the spleen, an environment of open blood circulation and shear forces unlike other lymphoid organs. Upon release from arterioles into the red pulp sinuses, T cells latched onto perivascular stromal cells in a manner that was independent of the chemokine receptor CCR7 but sensitive to Gi protein-coupled receptor inhibitors. This latching sheltered T cells from blood flow and enabled unidirectional migration to the bridging channels and then to T zones, entry into which required CCR7. Inflammatory responses modified the chemotactic cues along the perivascular homing paths, leading to rapid block of entry. Our findings reveal a role for vascular structures in lymphocyte recirculation through the spleen, indicating the existence of separate entry and exit routes and that of a checkpoint located at the gate to the T zone.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





794 - 807.e7


University of Oxford, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, OX3 7FY Oxford, UK.


Spleen, B-Lymphocytes, Lymphocytes, T-Lymphocytes, Animals, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Transgenic, Humans, Luminescent Proteins, Signal Transduction, Cell Movement, Immunologic Surveillance, Receptors, CCR7, Intravital Microscopy