A pronounced asymmetry in the recirculation from blood to lymph of resting small recirculating T lymphocytes is described. When 51Cr-labeled small T-recirculating lymphocytes (TRL) from intestinal lymph were infused intravenously their relative recovery in intestinal lymph was about twice that in nodal lymph. In contrast, the relative recovery in nodal lymph of 51Cr-labeled nodal TRL was twice that in intestinal lymph. Intestinal TRL migrated in large numbers through the small intestine. Nodal TRL did not. It is proposed that the pool of recirculating small T lymphocytes consists of two major subdivisions, an intestinal pool and a nodal pool. The nodal circulation comprises small TRL which traverse PCV in all lymph nodes (LN) but not the small intestine. The intestinal circulation comprises small TRL which do not traverse PCV in LN, but which do recirculate through the small intestine from which they pass via afferent lymphatics to the mesenteric LN and subsequently via the thoracic duct into the blood. It is suggested that the intestinal circulation is present in the fetus and that its initial development is independent of extrinsic antigen.

This content is only available as a PDF.