Dendritic cells adhere to and transmigrate across lymphatic endothelium in response to IFN-alpha
Migration of DC into lymphatic vessels ferries antigenic cargo and pro-inflammatory stimuli into the draining LN. Given that tissues under the influence of viral infections produce type I IFN, it is conceivable that these cytokines enhance DC migration in order to facilitate an antiviral immune response. Cultured lymphatic endothelium monolayers pretreated with TNF-alpha were used to model this phenomenon under inflammatory conditions. DC differentiated in the presence of either IFN-alpha 2b or IFN-alpha 5 showed enhanced adhesion to cultured lymphatic endothelial cells. These pro-adhesive effects were mediated by DC, not the lymphatic endothelium, and correlated with increased DC transmigration across lymphatic endothelial cell monolayers. Transmigration was guided by chemokines acting on DC, and blocking experiments with mAb indicated a role for LFA-1. Furthermore, incubation of DC with IFN-alpha led to the appearance of active conformation epitopes on the CD11a integrin chains expressed by DC. Differentiation of mouse DC in the presence of IFN-alpha also increased DC migration from inflammed footpads toward popliteal LN. Collectively, these results indicate a role for type I IFN in directing DC toward LN under inflammatory conditions.