The localization of syngeneic 51Cr-labeled lymph node cells was investigated in CBA/J mice previously challenged with sheep erythrocytes, Salmonella H antigen, keyhole limpet hemocyanin, C57BL/6J skin, or rat skin. The effect of time, dose, and route of antigen administration on lymphocyte migration was studied in both primary and secondary responses.
When the distribution pattern of lymphocytes was examined after 20–24 hr, it was found that increased localization of labeled cells occurred in spleen after intravenous or intraperitoneal antigen injection, and in draining lymph nodes after subcutaneous antigen injection or skin grafting. Increased localization (trapping) of lymphocytes was antigen dose dependent and could be demonstrated when 1–6 hr had elapsed between intravenous antigen administration, or when 24 hr had elapsed between subcutaneous antigen administration and intravenous cell infusion. Trapping was transient, lasting approximately 24 hr. Maximal trapping of lymphocytes in the draining nodes occurred 9 days after skin grafting in the first-set allograft response, and 3 days after grafting in the second-set allograft and first-set xenograft responses.
The cell type trapped, the specificity and mechanism of action of the trap, and the role of lymphocyte trapping in the initiation of immune responses are discussed.