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Ince, Louise M.; Weber, Jasmin; Scheiermann, Christoph (2019): Control of Leukocyte Trafficking by Stress-Associated Hormones. In: Frontiers in Immunology, Vol. 9, 3143
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Leukocyte migration is a crucial process in both homeostatic and inflammatory conditions. The spatiotemporal distribution of immune cells is balanced between processes of cellular mobilization into the bloodstream, their adhesion to vascular beds and trafficking into tissues. Systemic regulation of leukocyte mobility is achieved by different signals including neuronal and hormonal cues, of which the catecholamines and glucocorticoids have been most extensively studied. These hormones are often associated with a stress response, however they regulate immune cell trafficking also in steady state, with effects dependent upon cell type, location, time-of-day, concentration, and duration of signal. Systemic administration of catecholamines, such as the sympathetic neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline, increases neutrophil numbers in the bloodstream but has different effects on other leukocyte populations. In contrast, local, endogenous sympathetic tone has been shown to be crucial for dynamic daily changes in adhesion molecule expression in the bone marrow and skeletal muscle, acting as a key signal to the endothelium and stromal cells to regulate immune cell trafficking. Conversely, glucocorticoids are often reported as anti-inflammatory, although recent data shows a more complex role, particularly under steady-state conditions. Endogenous changes in circulating glucocorticoid concentration induce redistribution of cells and potentiate inflammatory responses, and in many paradigms glucocorticoid action is strongly influenced by time of day. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of catecholamine and glucocorticoid regulation of leukocyte migration under homeostatic and stimulated conditions.