SFB 914 Trafficking of Immune Cells in Inflammation, Development and Disease

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Circadian rhythms in lymphocyte trafficking and adaptive immune responses

Paper featured on the cover of Immunity


The article “Lymphocyte Circadian Clocks Control Lymph Node Trafficking and Adaptive Immune Responses” led by PhD student David Druzd (left) and senior author Christoph Scheiermann (right) describes rhythms in key components of the adaptive immune system that drive immune responses.

Lymphocyte trafficking through lymph nodes and lymph is an important immune surveillance mechanism of the body. This trafficking occurs in a circadian manner and governs adaptive immune responses to be time-of-day dependent. Rhythmicity is ablated when circadian clock function is lost in T cells.

scheiermann_immunity_coverLeukocytes circulate through blood, home to lymph nodes and return to the bloodstream via lymphatic vessels. The paper shows that lymphocyte location is dependent upon the time of day. Murine CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, along with B cells, show high cellularity in blood during the day, but home to the lymph node predominantly at night onset. This results in strong oscillations in lymph node cellularity, which is dependent upon circadian expression of pro-migratory factors. This translates into significant differences in adaptive immune responses weeks after immunization or pathogen exposure. In this way, time of day can be illustrated by relative leukocyte presence in the indicated tissues – an immune clock as indicated in the cover image designed by Christopher and Louise Ince.

Collaborative effort amongst SFB groups

This publication has been a collaborative effort between three projects of SFB 914, namely projects B09/Z03 (Christoph Scheiermann) and project B05 (Rainer Haas).


Druzd D, Matveeva O, Ince L, Harrison U, He W, Schmal C, Herzel H, Tsang AH, Kawakami N, Leliavski A, Uhl O, Yao L, Sander LE, Chen CS, Kraus K, de Juan A, Hergenhan SM, Ehlers M, Koletzko B, Haas R, Solbach W, Oster H, Scheiermann C. (2017)
Lymphocyte Circadian Clocks Control Lymph Node Trafficking and Adaptive Immune Responses.
Immunity 46(1):120-132


Christoph Scheiermann, PhD
BioMedizinisches Centrum
Walter-Brendel-Zentrum für Experimentelle Medizin
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Großhaderner Str. 9
82152 Planegg-Martinsried

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