Leukocyte traffic and the immune response

​Description of Research

Leukocyte migration from the blood into tissues is critical for generation of normal immune responses. Abnormal leukocyte traffic contributes to the pathogenesis of all inflammatory diseases and several other diseases, such as cancer. We study the molecules on blood and lymphatic vessels and their counter-receptors on leukocytes, which mediate the different steps of leukocyte migration in the body. We have identified several new adhesion molecules (e.g. vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1), CD73, stabilin-1), plasmalemma vesicle associated protein (Plvap)) mediating leukocyte migration, dissected the molecular mechanisms involved, and studied the therapeutic value of modulating the function of these and other adhesion receptors in inflammation and cancer. We also elucidate the mechanisms which govern the differentiation and trafficking of immune suppressive types of monocytes/macrophages in the body. Moreover, we examine the value of soluble adhesion molecules and cytokines as biomarkers of disease.

Members of the research group

Aalto, Kristiina, PhD student
Auvinen, Kaisa, docent (adjunct professor)
Eichin, Dominik, PhD student
Jäppinen, Norma, PhD student
Marttila-Ichihara, Fumiko, post-doc
Palani, Senthil, PhD student
Rantakari, Pia, post-doc
Väänänen, Etta-Liisa, lab technician

Selected Publications

Stolen CM, Marttila-Ichihara F, Koskinen K, Yegutkin GG, Turja R, Bono P, Skurnik M, Hänninen A, Jalkanen S, Salmi M. Absence of an endothelial oxidase AOC3 leads to abnormal leukocyte traffic in vivo. Immunity 22:105-115, 2005.

Marttila-Ichihara F, Auvinen K, Elima K, Jalkanen S, Salmi M. Vascular adhesion protein-1 enhances tumor growth by supporting recruitment of Gr-1+CD11b+ myeloid cells into tumors. Cancer Res 69:7875-7883, 2009

Pouwels J, De Franceschi N, Rantakari P, Auvinen K, Karikoski M, Mattila E, Potter C, Sundberg JP, Hogg N, Gahmberg CG, Salmi M,* Ivaska J.* SHARPIN regulates uropod detachment in migrating lymphocytes. Cell Rep 5:619-28, 2013. *equal contribution as the last author

Salmi M, Karikoski M, Elima K, Rantakari P, Jalkanen S. CD44 binds to macrophage mannose receptor on lymphatic endothelium and supports lymphocyte migration via afferent lymphatics. Circ Res 112: 1577-1582, 2013.

Rantakari P, Auvinen K, Valtonen J, Karikoski M, Gerke H, Jäppinen J, IIftakhar-E-Khuda I, Keuschnigg J, Miyasaka M, Elima K, Jalkanen S, Salmi M. Plvap controls the entry of antigens to conduits and lymphocyte transmigration to parenchyma in the lymphatic sinus of lymph nodes. Nat Immunol 16:386-96, 2015