The cellular immune response to tissue damage and infection requires the recruitment of blood leukocytes. This process is mediated through a classical multistep mechanism, which involves transient rolling on the endothelium and recognition of inflammation followed by extravasation. We have shown, by direct examination of blood monocyte functions in vivo, that a subset of monocytes patrols healthy tissues through long-range crawling on the resting endothelium. This patrolling behavior depended on the integrin LFA-1 and the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 and was required for rapid tissue invasion at the site of an infection by this "resident" monocyte population, which initiated an early immune response and differentiated into macrophages.
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