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Nat Immunol. 2011 Jun 12;12(7):639-46. doi: 10.1038/ni.2053.

The development of inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue depends on IL-17.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.


Ectopic or tertiary lymphoid tissues, such as inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT), form in nonlymphoid organs after local infection or inflammation. However, the initial events that promote this process remain unknown. Here we show that iBALT formed in mouse lungs as a consequence of pulmonary inflammation during the neonatal period. Although we found CD4(+)CD3(-) lymphoid tissue-inducer cells (LTi cells) in neonatal lungs, particularly after inflammation, iBALT was formed in mice that lacked LTi cells. Instead, we found that interleukin 17 (IL-17) produced by CD4(+) T cells was essential for the formation of iBALT. IL-17 acted by promoting lymphotoxin-α-independent expression of the chemokine CXCL13, which was important for follicle formation. Our results suggest that IL-17-producing T cells are critical for the development of ectopic lymphoid tissues.

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