▪ Abstract 

Human vascular endothelial cells (EC) basally display class I and II MHC-peptide complexes on their surface and come in regular contact with circulating T cells. We propose that EC present microbial antigens to memory T cells as a mechanism of immune surveillance. Activated T cells, in turn, provide both soluble and contact-dependant signals to modulate normal EC functions, including formation and remodeling of blood vessels, regulation of blood flow, regulation of blood fluidity, maintenance of permselectivity, recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes, and antigen presentation leading to activation of T cells. T cell interactions with vascular EC are thus bidirectional and link the immune and circulatory systems.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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