A Laboratory Model to Study T-Cell Motility

  • Navin Kumar VermaEmail author
  • Shyam Mohan Palapetta
  • Seow Theng Ong
  • Mobashar Hussain Urf Turabe Fazil
  • Madhavi Latha Somaraju Chalasani
  • Praseetha Prasannan
  • Atish Kizhakeyil
  • Dermot Kelleher
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1930)


Regulated migration of T-lymphocytes through high endothelial venules and secondary lymphoid organs is necessary for an adaptive immune response. Uncontrolled trafficking of T-cells is implicated in many pathological conditions, including autoimmune disorders, such as psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease. T-cell migration is regulated mainly by the αLβ2 integrin receptor LFA-1, which interacts primarily with its cognate ligand ICAM-1 expressed on the endothelium. This interaction triggers a plethora of downstream signaling pathways, which are not fully understood. Thus, in order to dissect the signal transduction processes at molecular levels and phenotypic changes in migrating T-cells, a laboratory model mimicking T-cell motility is important. Here, we describe a simple and highly reproducible in vitro model to study T-cell migration.

Key words

T-lymphocytes T-cell migration LFA-1 crosslinking ICAM-1 



This work was supported by the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), Nanyang Technological University Singapore Start-Up Grant and the Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) under its MOE Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 (2014-T1-001-141) and MOE-AcRF Tier 2 (MOE2017-T2-2-004) grants. A.K. acknowledges Ph.D. fellowship provided by LKCMedicine, Nanyang Technological University Singapore.


  1. 1.
    Berlin-Rufenach C, Otto F, Mathies M, Westermann J, Owen MJ, Hamann A, Hogg N (1999) Lymphocyte migration in lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1-deficient mice. J Exp Med 189:1467–1478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pilli D, Zou A, Tea F, Dale RC, Brilot F (2017) Expanding role of T cells in human autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system. Front Immunol 8:652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nourshargh S, Alon R (2014) Leukocyte migration into inflamed tissues. Immunity 41:694–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hogg N, Smith A, McDowall A, Giles K, Stanley P, Laschinger M, Henderson R (2004) How T cells use LFA-1 to attach and migrate. Immunol Lett 92:51–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carman CV, Martinelli R (2015) T lymphocyte-endothelial interactions: emerging understanding of trafficking and antigen-specific immunity. Front Immunol 6:603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Verma NK, Kelleher D (2014) Adaptor regulation of LFA-1 signaling in T lymphocyte migration: potential druggable targets for immunotherapies? Eur J Immunol 44:3484–3499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ong ST, Freeley M, Skubis-Zegadło J, Fazil MH, Kelleher D, Fresser F, Baier G, Verma NK, Long A (2014) Phosphorylation of Rab5a protein by protein kinase Cϵ is crucial for T-cell migration. J Biol Chem 289:19420–19434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Verma NK, Dourlat J, Davies AM, Long A, Liu WQ, Garbay C, Kelleher D, Volkov Y (2009) STAT3-stathmin interactions control microtubule dynamics in migrating T-cells. J Biol Chem 284:12349–12362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shimizu Y (2003) LFA-1: more than just T cell Velcro. Nat Immunol 4:1052–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Norman MU, Hickey MJ (2005) Mechanisms of lymphocyte migration in autoimmune disease. Tissue Antigens 66:163–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Finotello F, Trajanoski Z (2017) New strategies for cancer immunotherapy: targeting regulatory T cells. Genome Med 9:10CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Navin Kumar Verma
    • 5
    Email author
  • Shyam Mohan Palapetta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Seow Theng Ong
    • 1
  • Mobashar Hussain Urf Turabe Fazil
    • 1
  • Madhavi Latha Somaraju Chalasani
    • 4
    • 1
  • Praseetha Prasannan
    • 1
  • Atish Kizhakeyil
    • 1
  • Dermot Kelleher
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Lymphocyte Signalling Research Laboratory, Lee Kong Chian School of MedicineNanyang Technological University SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Nanyang Institute of Technology in Health and Medicine, Interdisciplinary Graduate SchoolNanyang Technological University SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Autoimmunity and Inflammation ProgramHospital for Special SurgeryNYUSA
  5. 5.Lee Kong Chian School of MedicineNanyang Technological University SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations