The epithelia are the avascular layers of cells that cover the environment-exposed surfaces of the body. It appears that T cells localize to selected sites in or adjacent to epithelia via the selective expression of adhesion molecules and chemokine receptors on T cells. These bind to counter-receptors and to chemokines expressed by epithelial cells. Recently, there has been an advance in our understanding of the interaction of the alpha(Ebeta7) integrin with its epithelial cell ligand, E-cadherin. In addition, a new adhesion molecule has been identified on non-intestinal epithelial cells, termed lymphocyte-endothelial-epithelial-cell adhesion molecule (LEEP-CAM). Finally, there have been advances in our understanding of the role of skin- or gut-epithelia-derived chemokines in regulating activated T cell homing to these sites.
- Immunologi inom det medicinska området