Indium-labelled human gut-derived T cells from healthy subjects with strong in vitro adhesion to MAdCAM-1 show no detectable homing to the gut in vivo

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Integrin alpha4beta 7 is the principal gut-homing receptor, and it is assumed that expression of this specific integrin directs lymphocytes to the gut in vivo. Adoptive cellular immunotherapy against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may depend on the expression of integrin alpha4beta 7 to accomplish local delivery of intravenously injected regulatory T cells in inflamed gut mucosa. The present study aimed to investigate whether in vitro expanded human T cells from the colonic mucosa maintain integrin expression, show in vitro adhesion and retain in vivo gut-homing properties during cultivation. Whole colonic biopsies from healthy subjects were cultured in the presence of interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-4. The integrin expression of the cultured T cells was determined by flow cytometry and in vitro adhesion was assessed in a mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1) adhesion assay. We studied the homing pattern after autologous infusion of 3 x 10(8 111)Indium ((111)In)-labelled T cells in five healthy subjects using scintigraphic imaging. The cultured CD4(+)CD45RO(+) gut-derived T cells express higher levels of integrin alpha4beta 7 than peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and show strong adhesion to MAdCAM-1 in vitro, even after (111)In-labelling. Scintigraphic imaging, however, showed no gut-homing in vivo. After prolonged transit through the lungs, the T cells migrated preferentially to the spleen, liver and bone marrow. In conclusion, it is feasible to infuse autologous T cells cultured from the gut mucosa, which may be of interest in adoptive immunotherapy. Despite high expression of the gut-homing integrin alpha4beta 7 and adhesion to MAdCAM-1 in vitro, evaluation by (111)In-scintigraphy demonstrated no gut-homing in healthy individuals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Pages (from-to)66-74
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD
  • Bone Marrow
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colon
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Indium Radioisotopes
  • Integrins
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-4
  • Intestinal Mucosa
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucoproteins
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • Spleen
  • T-Lymphocytes

Cite this