Role of Integrin α4 (VLA – Very Late Antigen 4) in Lymphopoiesis by Short- and Long-Term Transplantation Studies in Genetic Knockout Model of Mice

  • Ena Ray Banerjee


Objective. α4 Integrins are major players in lymphoid cell trafficking and immune responses. However, their importance in lymphoid reconstitution and function, studied by antibody blockade or in genetic models of chimeric animals with α4KO embryonic stem (ES) cells, competitive repopulation experiments with fetal liver KO cells, or in b1/b7 doubly deficient mice has yielded disparate conclusions.

Materials and Methods. To study the role of α4 integrin (α4b1, α4b7) during adult life, we transplanted lethally irradiated Rag2−/− mice with α4Δ/Δ or α4f/f adult bone marrow (BM) cells and evaluated recipients at several points after transplantation.

Results. Lymphomyeloid repopulation (8 months later) was entirely donor-derived in all recipients, and novel insights regarding lymphoid reconstitution and function were revealed. Thymic repopulation was impaired in all α4Δ/Δ recipients, likely because of homing defects of BM-derived progenitors, although a role of α4 integrin in intrathymic expansion/maturation of T cells cannot be excluded; reconstitution of gut lymphoid tissue was also greatly diminished because of homing defects of α4Δ/Δ cells, impaired immunoglobulin (Ig) M and IgE, but normal IgG responses were seen, suggesting compromised initial B-/T-cell interactions, whereas interferon-g production from ovalbumin-stimulated cells was increased, possibly reflecting a bias against Th2 stimulation.

Conclusion. These data complement previous observations by defending the role of α4 integrin in thymic and gut lymphoid tissue homing and by strengthening evidence of attenuated B-cell responses in α4-deficient mice.


Donor Cell Recipient Mouse Lymphocyte Trafficking Hematopoietic Reconstitution Antibody Blockade 
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Published in

  1. Banerjee ER, Latchman YL, Jiang Y, Priestley GV, Papayannopoulou T. Distinct changes in adult lymphopoiesis in Rag2−/− mice fully reconstituted by α4-deficinet adult bone marrow cells. Exp Hematol. 2008;36(8):1004–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ena Ray Banerjee
    • 1
  1. 1.Immunology & Regenerative Medicine Research UnitUniversity College of Science, Technology and AgricultureKolkataIndia

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