To function efficiently in vivo, lymphocytes must circulate from the blood into lymphoid tissues and other sites of immune reaction. Herein, we show that human cytotoxic and helper T cell clones and lines, maintained in vitro with IL-2, express the functional capacity to recognize and bind to high endothelial venules (HEV), a capacity essential for lymphocyte exit from the blood, and hence for normal lymphocyte trafficking. The expression of functional homing receptors distinguishes human T cell clones from their murine counterparts, which uniformly lack receptors for HEV and are unable to migrate normally from the blood in vivo. The results raise the possibility that human T cell clones may be more effective in mediating in vivo immune responses than is suggested by murine models.

This content is only available as a PDF.