The tissue-specific homing of lymphocytes is directed by specialized high endothelial venules (HEV). At least three functionally independent lymphocyte/HEV recognition systems exist, controlling the extravasation of circulating lymphocytes into peripheral lymph nodes, mucosal lymphoid tissues (Peyer's patches or appendix), and the synovium of inflamed joints. We report here that antibodies capable of inhibiting human lymphocyte binding to one or more HEV types recognize a common 85-95-kD lymphocyte surface glycoprotein antigen, defined by the non-blocking monoclonal antibody, Hermes-1. We demonstrate that MEL-14, a monoclonal antibody against putative lymph node "homing receptors" in the mouse, functionally inhibits human lymphocyte binding to lymph node HEV but not to mucosal or synovial HEV, and cross-reacts with the 85-95-kD Hermes-1 antigen. Furthermore, we show that Hermes-3, a novel antibody produced by immunization with Hermes-1 antigen isolated from a mucosal HEV-specific cell line, selectively blocks lymphocyte binding to mucosal HEV. Such tissue specificity of inhibition suggests that MEL-14 and Hermes-3 block the function of specific lymphocyte recognition elements for lymph node and mucosal HEV, respectively. Recognition of synovial HEV also involves the 85-95-kD Hermes-1 antigen, in that a polyclonal antiserum produced against the isolated antigen blocks all three classes of lymphocyte-HEV interaction. From these studies, it is likely that the Hermes-1-defined 85-95-kD glycoprotein class either comprises a family of related but functionally independent receptors for HEV, or associates both physically and functionally with such receptors. The findings imply that related molecular mechanisms are involved in several functionally independent cell-cell recognition events that direct lymphocyte traffic.

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