Transcellular migration of leukocytes is mediated by the endothelial lateral border recycling compartment

Zahra Mamdouh*, Alexei Mikhailov, William A. Muller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Leukocyte migration across endothelial cell borders (paracellular) and through endothelial cells (transcellular) appear to be distinct processes. During paracellular migration, membrane from a parajunctional reticulum of interconnected vesicles, the endothelial lateral border recycling compartment (LBRC), moves to surround the leukocyte in a kinesin-mediated, microtubule-dependent manner. We show that transcellular migration likewise requires targeted trafficking of LBRC membrane. We show that in addition to platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM; CD31), CD99 and junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), but apparently not vascular endothelial cell-specific cadherin (cadherin 5, CD144), are components of the LBRC. During transcellular migration, LBRC membrane invests the trans-migrating leukocyte. Intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on the apical endothelial surface is enriched around adherent leukocytes. Depolymerization of microtubules has no effect on ICAM-1 enrichment but blocks targeted trafficking of LBRC membrane and transcellular migration by >90%. Similar to their effects on paracellular transmigration, antibodies against PECAM or CD99, but not JAM-A, block transcellular migration. We conclude that similar molecular mechanisms promote both para- and transcellular migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2795-2808
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 23 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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