Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Thandi M. Onami

Committee Members

Tim E. Sparer, Mark Y. Sangster


The correct and timely delivery of immune cells is critical for protection against foreign antigen. In order for cells to access most organs, there are requirements that must be met to facilitate exit from the blood into extravasculature. The initial requirement is selectin-selectin ligand interactions that mediate tethering and rolling to allow shear resistance. For proper selectin-selectin ligand interaction, glycoproteins must be modified by fucosyltransferases –IV and –VII, which adds fucose to an acceptor substrate to form the sialyl-LewisX moiety. Using fucosyltransferase –IV and –VII double knockout (FtDKO) mice, we made several novel observations. Our first observation showed increased numbers of naïve T cells in non-lymphoid organs. To support this observation, we blocked chemokine-mediated entry into lymph nodes (LNs) with pertussis toxin and L-selectin mediated entry with anti-CD62L antibody in WT mice. We also treated WT mice with the S1P1 agonist, FTY720, to retain lymphocytes in LNs. Our results suggested that when access to LN is perturbed, lymphocytes accumulate in non-lymphoid organs. Our second observation showed an enrichment of effector/memory T cells in FtDKO LNs. To determine if effector/memory CD8 T cells were retained in LNs, we transferred naïve and memory CD8 T cells into WT mice then treated the recipient mice with anti-CD62L. We found that LN exit rates of naïve and memory CD8 T cells were similar, but slowed as T cell density decreased. To understand if memory CD8 T cells were using selectin ligand independent mechanisms, we transferred naïve and memory CD8 T cells into WT or FtDKO mice. We found reduced numbers of memory CD8 T cells in LNs, however, their frequency was increased. We explored this result by transferring CFSE labeled memory CD8 T cells. We found that memory CD8 T cells divide more in FtDKO mice compared to WT. These experiments suggested that selectin ligand deficiencies cause increased frequency of effector/memory T cells in LNs due to low density and increased emptiness induced proliferation. Taken together, these findings reveal how selectin ligand deficiencies contribute to T cell accumulation in non-lymphoid organs and elucidate mechanisms of retention in LNs.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."