Dendritic cells control lymphocyte entry into lymph nodes

Dendritic cells, discovered in 1973 by Ralph Steinman (2011 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine) and known for their role as sentinels of the immune system, have an essential function in the development of high endothelial venules (HEVs), acting as genuine entry sites of lymphocytes into lymph nodes, inflamed tissues and malignant tumors. This is what Christine Moussion and Jean-Philippe Girard(1), researchers at the Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (CNRS/Université de Toulouse III РPaul Sabatier) showed in a study(2) published online in the journal Nature on November 13, 2011. A better understanding of this process could lead to major applications in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer.