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Nat Immunol. 2008 Apr;9(4):388-95. doi: 10.1038/ni1571. Epub 2008 Mar 2.

Perivascular clusters of dendritic cells provide critical survival signals to B cells in bone marrow niches.

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Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Beyond its established function in hematopoiesis, the bone marrow hosts mature lymphocytes and acts as a secondary lymphoid organ in the initiation of T cell and B cell responses. Here we report the characterization of bone marrow-resident dendritic cells (bmDCs). Multiphoton imaging showed that bmDCs were organized into perivascular clusters that enveloped blood vessels and were seeded with mature B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. Conditional ablation of bmDCs in these bone marrow immune niches led to the specific loss of mature B cells, a phenotype that could be reversed by overexpression of the antiapoptotic factor Bcl-2 in B cells. The presence of bmDCs promoted the survival of recirculating B cells in the bone marrow through the production of macrophage migration-inhibitory factor. Thus, bmDCs are critical for the maintenance of recirculating B cells in the bone marrow.

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