Using quantitative techniques we have shown elsewhere that dendritic cells (DC) migrate from blood into the spleen, under the control of T cells. Here we traced the localization of DC within the spleen and sought to explain the means by which they entered. DC were labeled with a fluorochrome, Hoescht 33342, and injected intravenously. Spleens were removed 3 or 24 h later and DC were visualized within particular areas that were defined by mAbs and FITC anti-Igs. At 3 h most DC were in the red pulp, whereas by 24 h the majority had homed to T-dependent areas of the white pulp and may have become interdigitating cells. Lymphoid DC, isolated from spleen and perhaps normally present in blood, may thus be a migratory stage distinct from the relatively fixed interdigitating cells. We also developed a frozen section assay to investigate the interaction of DC with various lymphoid elements. When DC were incubated on sections of spleen, at 37 degrees C but not at 4 degrees C they attached specifically within the marginal zone and did not bind to T areas; in contrast, macrophages attached only to red pulp and T cells did not bind specifically. However, DC did not bind to sections of mesenteric lymph node, whereas T cells localized in particular regions at 4 degrees C but not at 37 degrees C, probably the high endothelial venules. DC may thus express "homing receptors," similar to those of T cells, for certain endothelia. We propose that T cells can modify the vascular endothelium in certain areas to allow egress of DC from the bloodstream.

This content is only available as a PDF.