Lymphocyte transcellular migration occurs through recruitment of endothelial ICAM-1 to caveola- and F-actin-rich domains

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During inflammation, leukocytes bind to the adhesion receptors ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 on the endothelial surface before undergoing transendothelial migration, also called diapedesis. ICAM-1 is also involved in transendothelial migration, independently of its role in adhesion, but the molecular basis of this function is poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that, following clustering, apical ICAM-1 translocated to caveolin-rich membrane domains close to the ends of actin stress fibres. In these F-actin-rich areas, ICAM-1 was internalized and transcytosed to the basal plasma membrane through caveolae. Human T-lymphocytes extended pseudopodia into endothelial cells in caveolin- and F-actin-enriched areas, induced local translocation of ICAM-1 and caveolin-1 to the endothelial basal membrane and transmigrated through transcellular passages formed by a ring of F-actin and caveolae. Reduction of caveolin-1 levels using RNA interference (RNAi) specifically decreased lymphocyte transcellular transmigration. We propose that the translocation of ICAM-1 to caveola- and F-actin-rich domains links the sequential steps of lymphocyte adhesion and transendothelial migration and facilitates lymphocyte migration through endothelial cells from capillaries into surrounding tissue.

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Figure 1: Antibody-crosslinked ICAM-1 translocates to F-actin- and caveolin-rich areas at the endothelial cell periphery.
Figure 2: ICAM-1 crosslinking leads to transcytosis of ICAM-1 and caveolin-1.
Figure 3: ICAM-1 localizes to caveolae and is translocated to the basal plasma membrane.
Figure 4: ICAM-1 and caveolin-1 are translocated to the basal membrane at endothelium–lymphocyte interaction sites.
Figure 5: Caveolin-1 and F-actin accumulate at transcellular passages of diapedesis.
Figure 6: Transcellular transendothelial migration in human microvascular endothelial cells.
Figure 7: Knockdown of caveolin-1 with siRNA decreases T-lymphoblast transcellular transendothelial migration.


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This work was supported by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and European Community contracts QLG1-CT-99-01036 and FP6–502935. J. Millán was supported by a Marie Curie fellowship (no. HPMF-CT-2000-01061) and British Heart Foundation intermediate fellowship (no. FS/04/006). We are grateful to the named donors for the gifts of plasmids and antibodies listed in the methods section, to E. Cernuda Morollon for providing T-lymphoblasts, and to members of the Ridley laboratory for helpful discussions. We thank Olympus for generously providing instrumentation and support to the Yale CINEMA lab.

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Correspondence to Anne J. Ridley.

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