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Hide and seek signals
Date:12/15/2011

f several endothelial cells at once to trap chemokines as they were released from vesicles at the endothelial cell membrane. Once they obtained the right chemokine directives, the immune cells were quickly ushered out through the blood vessel walls toward their final destination.

The researchers think that keeping the chemokines inside the endothelial cells ensures, on the one hand, that these vital signals will be safe from getting washed away in the blood or eaten by various enzymes. On the other hand, it guarantees that only those effector cells with special training that can make the extra effort to find the signals will pass through.

Alon: 'We are now seeing that the blood vessel endothelium is much more than just a passive, sticky barrier it actively selects which recruited cells actually cross the barrier and which will not. The endothelial cells seem to play an active role in showing the immune cells the right way out, though we're not sure exactly how. Moreover, we think that tumors near blood vessels might exploit these trafficking rules for their benefit by putting the endothelial cells in a quiescent state or making the endothelium produce the 'wrong' chemokines. Thus, immune cells capable of destroying these tumors will not be able to exit the blood and navigate to the tumor site, while other immune cells that aid in cancer growth will.'


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Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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