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Int Immunol. 2004 Aug;16(8):1133-42. Epub 2004 Jul 5.

A novel reticular stromal structure in lymph node cortex: an immuno-platform for interactions among dendritic cells, T cells and B cells.

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Center for Molecular Biology and Genetics, Kyoto University, Japan.


For efficient adaptive immunity, the lymph nodes (LNs) are equipped with a strategically organized microarchitecture, which is largely supported by the reticular network (RN). The RN can be clearly visualized by fluorescence immunohistochemistry coupled with confocal imaging using a monoclonal antibody, ER-TR7, and can be subdivided into four structurally distinct regions, each of which correlates well with the location of distinct immune cell subsets. In addition, we noticed a characteristic reticular structure designated the 'cortical ridge' at the boundary of the T and B zone, in which dendritic cells are preferentially accumulated. In vitro adhesion assays of frozen sections demonstrated a preference of dendritic cells for the cortical ridge rather than the deeper cortex. Adoptive transfer experiments also demonstrated that antigen-bearing dendritic cells migrated to this region from peripheral tissues, especially in the vicinity of the high endothelial venules, and were anchored on the reticular fibers waiting to interact with the antigen-specific T cells. Taken together, the findings obtained in this study provide new insights into how the LN stromal reticulum works as a specialized 'immuno-platform' for tissue compartmentalization and the immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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