Feb 2013 Archivum immunologiae et therapiae experimentalis

Function of junctional adhesion molecules (JAMs) in leukocyte migration and homeostasis.


Arcangeli ML, Frontera V, Aurrand-Lions M


Homeostasis is a word widely used in the scientific community to refer to the property of a system to maintain its uniformity and functionality. In living organisms, the word refers to the concept enunciated 150 years ago by C. Bernard by which external variations must be compensated for in order to maintain internal conditions compatible with life. This is especially true in the case of highly dynamic system such as the hematopoietic system that requires the coordinated control of cell proliferation and death within specialized microenvironments that are anatomically distinct. As a consequence, hematopoietic cell adhesion and migration must be tightly controlled in order for hematopoietic cells to reach and to be maintained in appropriate microenvironments. The junctional adhesion molecules (JAMs) are adhesion molecules that belong to the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSf) and that have been initially identified as important players controlling vascular permeability and leukocyte transendothelial migration. This involves the regulated localization of the JAMs at lateral endothelial cell/cell borders and their interaction with leukocyte integrins. More recently, some of the JAM family members have also been found to be expressed by stromal cells and to regulate chemokine secretion within lymphoid organs, acting not only on leukocyte transendothelial migration, but also on hematopoietic cell retention within specialized microenvironments. This review summarizes recent progress in understanding the role of the JAMs in leukocyte adhesion and migration to tentatively draw an integrated view of the homeostatic function of the JAMs within the hematopoietic system.

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