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J Immunol. 2003 Jun 1;170(11):5475-82.

Isolated lymphoid follicle formation is inducible and dependent upon lymphotoxin-sufficient B lymphocytes, lymphotoxin beta receptor, and TNF receptor I function.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


The gastrointestinal mucosa contains a complex network of lymphoid compartments that have evolved to efficiently protect the host from invading pathogens. Recently, an additional lymphoid structure resembling Peyer's patches (PP) in composition and architecture has been identified in the murine small intestine, the isolated lymphoid follicle (ILF). In this study we examine the nature and factors required for ILF formation. We observed a spectrum of structures fitting the previous descriptions of ILFs, ranging from clusters of B220(+) cells (which we have termed immature ILFs) to well-organized lymphoid nodules (which we have termed mature ILFs). Here we demonstrate that that similar to PP formation, ILF formation requires lymphotoxin (LT)- and LT beta receptor-dependent events. However unlike PP formation, the LT- and LT beta receptor-dependent events required for ILF formation can occur in adulthood and require LT-sufficient B lymphocytes. We demonstrate that mature ILF formation occurs in response to lumenal stimuli, including normal bacterial flora, and requires TNF receptor I function. These findings suggest that ILFs are organized intestinal lymphoid structures whose formation can be induced and whose mass can be expanded in response to mucosal challenges.

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