T-cell trafficking in the central nervous system


Federica Sallusto
Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Via Vincenzo Vela 6
CH-6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 91 820 03 15
Fax: +41 91 820 03 12
e-mail: federica.sallusto@irb.usi.ch


Summary:  To perform their distinct effector functions, pathogen-specific T cells have to migrate to target tissue where they recognize antigens and produce cytokines that elicit appropriate types of protective responses. Similarly, migration of pathogenic self-reactive T cells to target organs is an essential step required for tissue-specific autoimmunity. In this article, we review data from our laboratory as well as other laboratories that have established that effector function and migratory capacity are coordinately regulated in different T-cell subsets. We then describe how pathogenic T cells can enter into intact or inflamed central nervous system (CNS) to cause experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis or multiple sclerosis. In particular, we elaborate on the role of CCR6/CCL20 axis in migration through the choroid plexus and the involvement of this pathway in immune surveillance of and autoimmunity in the CNS.