Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

γδ T cell homing to skin and migration to skin-draining lymph nodes is CCR7 independent.

PMID 22156593


In most species, γδ T cells preferentially reside in epithelial tissues like the skin. Lymph duct cannulation experiments in cattle revealed that bovine dermal γδ T cells are able to migrate from the skin to the draining lymph nodes via the afferent lymph. For αβ T cells, it is generally accepted that epithelial and mucosal tissue egress is regulated by expression of the CCR7 chemokine receptor. In this study, we tracked the migratory route of bovine lymph-derived γδ T cells and examined their CCR7 cell surface expression in several compartments along this route. Total lymph cells from afferent and efferent origin were labeled with PKH fluorescent dyes and injected into the bloodstream. PKH(+) cells already reappeared in the afferent lymph after 4 h. The vast majority of the PKH(+) cells retrieved from the afferent lymph were of the WC1(+) γδ T cell phenotype, proving that this PKH(+) γδ T cell subset is able to home to and subsequently exit the skin. PKH(+) γδ T cells from afferent and efferent lymph lack CCR7 surface expression and display high levels of CD62L compared with CD4 T cells, which do express CCR7. Skin homing receptors CCR4 and CCR10 in contrast were transcribed by both CD4 and γδ T cells. Our findings suggest that γδ T cell skin egress and migration into the peripheral lymphatics is CCR7-independent and possibly mediated by CD62L expression.