CD44 Binds to Macrophage Mannose Receptor on Lymphatic Endothelium and Supports Lymphocyte Migration via Afferent Lymphatics
Rationale: Macrophage mannose receptor (MRC) is one of the few molecules known to be involved in lymphocyte trafficking via the lymphatic vessels. In endothelial cells of efferent lymphatics it binds L-selectin on lymphocytes. In afferent lymphatics MRC mediates trafficking of both normal and malignant L-selectin negative cells to the draining lymph nodes.
Objective: This work was designed to search for additional lymphocyte ligands of MRC to elucidate how lymphocytes migrate into the draining lymph nodes.
Methods and Results: Using immunoprecipitations and binding studies with natural and recombinant proteins we show that MRC and CD44 can interact with each other. Fine mapping revealed that the cysteine rich (CR) domain of MRC binds to the chondroitin sulfate side chains of CD44. In vivo homing experiments with MRC- and CD44- deficient mice verified that MRC and CD44 function as a receptor-ligand pair in supporting lymphocyte migration via the afferent lymphatics into the draining lymph nodes.
Conclusions: These data identify a new counter-receptor for MRC and reveal CD44 as a new molecule involved in the poorly understood process of lymphocyte transit via the lymphatic vasculature.
- Received November 7, 2012.
- Revision received April 18, 2013.
- Accepted April 19, 2013.