Orchestration of lymphocyte chemotaxis by mitochondrial dynamics

Campello S, Lacalle RA, Bettella M, Manes S, Scorrano L, Viola A
Source: J Exp Med
Publication Date: (2006)
Issue: 203(13): 2879-86
Research Area:
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
T cell, human peripheral blood unstim.
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
T cell, human stim.
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Lymphocyte traffic is required to maintain homeostasis and perform appropriate immunological reactions. To migrate into inflamed tissues, lymphocytes must acquire spatial and functional asymmetries. Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that distribute in the cytoplasm to meet specific cellular needs, but whether this is essential to lymphocyte functions is unknown. We show that mitochondria specifically concentrate at the uropod during lymphocyte migration by a process involving rearrangements of their shape. Mitochondrial fission facilitates relocation of the organelles and promotes lymphocyte chemotaxis, whereas mitochondrial fusion inhibits both processes. Our data substantiate a new role for mitochondrial dynamics and suggest that mitochondria redistribution is required to regulate the motor of migrating cells.