Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Jul;14(7):447-62. doi: 10.1038/nri3700. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Ectopic lymphoid-like structures in infection, cancer and autoimmunity.

Author information

Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
Cardiff Institute for Infection and Immunity, The School of Medicine, Cardiff University, The Tenovus Building, Heath Campus, Cardiff CF14 4XN, Wales, UK.


Ectopic lymphoid-like structures often develop at sites of inflammation where they influence the course of infection, autoimmune disease, cancer and transplant rejection. These lymphoid aggregates range from tight clusters of B cells and T cells to highly organized structures that comprise functional germinal centres. Although the mechanisms governing ectopic lymphoid neogenesis in human pathology remain poorly defined, the presence of ectopic lymphoid-like structures within inflamed tissues has been linked to both protective and deleterious outcomes in patients. In this Review, we discuss investigations in both experimental model systems and patient cohorts to provide a perspective on the formation and functions of ectopic lymphoid-like structures in human pathology, with particular reference to the clinical implications and the potential for therapeutic targeting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center