In this study we present evidence that the mouse and rat sialoadhesin (originally named sheep erythrocyte receptor) on macrophages can function as a lymphocyte adhesion molecule. Lymphocytes were shown to bind to the splenic marginal zone, and lymph node subcapsular sinus and medulla in a frozen section assay. Selective depletion experiments showed that binding was mediated by macrophages. Adhesion was blocked by preincubation of the sections with monoclonal antibodies against mouse or rat sialoadhesin. Binding was temperature dependent, divalent cation independent, and involved sialic acid residues on the lymphocyte, as it could be inhibited by prior neuraminidase treatment or addition of the ganglioside GD1a. Binding to sialoadhesin was confirmed using the purified receptor and was observed among T cells, T blasts, B cells, and B blasts. Isolated macrophages or dendritic cells showed little binding. Sialoadhesin provides the first example of a macrophage-restricted lymphocyte adhesion molecule.

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