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Immunity. 1997 Oct;7(4):493-504.

Developing lymph nodes collect CD4+CD3- LTbeta+ cells that can differentiate to APC, NK cells, and follicular cells but not T or B cells.

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Department of Cell Biology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


For a brief period during fetal lymph node organogenesis in mice, lymph node postcapillary high endothelial venules surprisingly express the Peyer's patch addressin MAdCAM-1. This expression allows initial seeding of this incipient structure by two unusual lymphocyte populations selectively expressing the Peyer's patch homing receptor integrin alpha4beta7: CD4+CD3- oligolineage progenitors and TCR gammadelta+ T cells. We show here that CD4+CD3- cells are lineage-restricted progenitors that express surface lymphotoxin-beta (LTbeta) and the chemokine receptor BLR1 and that can become natural killer cells, dendritic antigen-presenting cells, and follicular cells of unknown outcome, but these cells do not become T or B lymphocytes. Since the necessity of lymphotoxin in lymphoid organ development has been shown, we propose that the novel subset of CD4+CD3-LTbeta+ fetal cells is instrumental in the development of lymphoid tissue architecture.

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