Rat thoracic duct lymphocytes (TDL) bind selectively to venules lined by high endothelial cells (HEV) when overlaid onto glutaraldehyde-fixed frozen sections of lymph nodes. This report describes the characteristics of TDL binding to HEV in unfixed frozen sections and compares this reactivity with that observed after fixing sections with different reagents. We found that TDL bound to unfixed HEV and that the pattern of adherence to such sections was identical to that observed when using glutaraldehyde-fixed tissue. Fixation of the sections with glutaraldehyde, however, enhanced the binding reaction. This effect was also observed when sections were treated with the diimidoester, dimethylsuberimidate (DMS) but not when methanol or formaldehyde was used. Since glutaraldehyde and DMS are each bifunctional cross-linking reagents, the results suggest that in vitro HEV adherence was facilitated under conditions in which the endothelial binding sites were present in an aggregated form.

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This work was supported by Grant AI-10080 from the National Institutes of Health.

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