Diapedesis — also known as transendothelial migration — is the process by which leukocytes squeeze through endothelial cell layers at sites of inflammation. In the February 13 Nature, Zahra Mamdouh and colleagues describe how membrane targeting of the endothelial cell adhesion molecule PECAM plays a role in leukocyte migration (Nature, 421:748-753, February 13, 2003).

Mamdouh et al. observe that about one third of the cell's PECAM is localized in a subjunctional reticulum structure below the cell surface. Diapedesis had an effect on PECAM localization and recycling between membranes and specifically involved the recycling of PECAM targeting to the junction where the migrating leukocyte was crossing.

Regulating membrane movement may be a novel strategy for anti-inflammatory therapies.

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