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Blood. 1991 Feb 15;77(4):787-91.

Follicular dendritic cells contain a unique gene repertoire demonstrated by single-cell polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Division of Tumor Immunology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115.


Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) form a dense network between B cells within the germinal center and are thought to be an important component of this B-cell microenvironment. Previous immunophenotypic studies have been inconclusive in determining the cellular origin of FDCs. Gene coexpression within individual and highly enriched FDCs was determined using polymerase chain reaction. FDCs contain a very restricted mRNA pattern with high levels of message for the C3d receptor (CR2, Epstein Barr-virus/EBV receptor, CD21) and lack of mRNA for CD20, CD45, CD4, fibronectin, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha and beta. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that FDCs may not be of classical hematopoietic or fibroblastic origin. The absence of interferon-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-3, and interleukin-6 mRNA provides preliminary evidence that these cells might produce only a very restricted set of cytokines limited to the germinal center.

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