Stable contacts of naïve CD4 T cells with migratory dendritic cells are ICAM-1-dependent but dispensable for proliferation in vivo

It is unclear if naïve T cells require dendritic cell ICAMs to proliferate inside lymph nodes. To check if and when CD4 lymphocytes use ICAMs on migratory DCs, wild-type and ICAM-1 and 2 double knock out bone marrow-derived DCs pulsed with saturating levels of an OT-II transgene-specific ovalbumin-derived peptide were co-transferred into skin-draining lymph nodes. Intravital imaging of OT-II lymphocytes entering these lymph nodes revealed that ICAM-1 and −2 deficient migratory DCs formed fewer stable conjugates with OT-II lymphocytes but promoted normal T cell proliferation. DC ICAMs were also not required for unstable TCR-dependent lymphocyte arrests on antigen presenting migratory DCs. Thus, rare antigen-stimulated ICAM-stabilized T-DC conjugates are dispensable for CD4 lymphocyte proliferation inside lymph nodes.