Ann Neurol. 2004 May;55(5):627-38
Kivisakk P, Mahad DJ, Callahan MK, Sikora K, Trebst C, Tucky B, Wujek J, Ravid R, Staugaitis SM, Lassmann H, Ransohoff RM.
Department of Neurosciences, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.
It is unclear how immune cells traffic between the lymphoid compartment and the central nervous system (CNS), which lacks lymphatic vessels and is shielded by the blood-brain barrier.
We studied the expression of CCR7, a chemokine receptor required for migration of T cells and dendritic cells (DCs) to lymphoid organs, in the CNS of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) to gain insight into pathways for CNS immune cell trafficking.
Inflamed MS lesions contained numerous CCR7+ myeloid cells expressing major histocompatibility complex class II, CD68 and CD86, consistent with maturing DCs.
CCR7+ DCs also were identified in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
These observations suggested that the afferent limb of CNS immunity is comprised, in part, of DCs, which are generated within the CNS and migrate to deep cervical lymph nodes through the CSF after antigen capture.
Ninety percent of CSF T cells expressed CCR7 and CSF from patients with MS was relatively depleted of CCR7-negative effector-memory T cells.
In contrast, all T cells in parenchymal MS lesions lacked CCR7, indicating local retention and differentiation of central-memory T cells upon restimulation by antigen within the CNS.
These data suggested that the efferent limb of CNS immunity is executed by central-memory T cells, which enter CSF directly from the circulation.