Am J Clin Exp Immunol 2013;2(2):146-155
In the eye of the storm: T cell behavior in the inflammatory microen-
Robert Haas, Federica Marelli-Berg, Claudio Mauro
Centre for Biochemical Pharmacology, William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and
Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
Received May 23, 2013; Accepted June 7, 2013; Epub June 15, 2013; Published June 30, 2013
Abstract: Coordinated unfolding of innate and adaptive immunity is key to the development of protective immune
responses. This functional integration occurs within the inflamed tissue, a microenvironment enriched with factors
released by innate and subsequently adaptive immune cells and the injured tissue itself. T lymphocytes are key players
in the ensuing adaptive immunity and their proper function is instrumental to a successful outcome of immune
protection. The site of inflammation is a “harsh” environment in which T cells are exposed to numerous factors that might
influence their behavior. Low pH and oxygen concentration, high lactate and organic acid content as well as free fatty
acids and reactive oxygen species are found in the inflammatory microenvironment. All these components affect T cells
as well as other immune cells during the immune response and impact on the development of chronic inflammation.
We here overview the effects of a number of factors present in the inflammatory microenvironment on T cell function and
migration and discuss the potential relevance of these components as targets for therapeutic intervention in
autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. (AJCEI1305003).
Keywords: T lymphocytes, inflammatory microenvironment, hypoxia, pH, fatty acids, lactate, reactive oxygen species
Address correspondence to: Dr Claudio Mauro, Centre for Biochemical Pharmacology, William Harvey Research
Institute, Barts and The Lon-don School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London, Heart Centre,
Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 5896; Fax: +44 (0) 20 7882 6076; E-mail: c.
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