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J Exp Med. 2004 Sep 20;200(6):783-95.

Lymph node fibroblastic reticular cells construct the stromal reticulum via contact with lymphocytes.

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Center for Molecular Biology and Genetics, Kyoto University, 53 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


The sophisticated microarchitecture of the lymph node, which is largely supported by a reticular network of fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) and extracellular matrix, is essential for immune function. How FRCs form the elaborate network and remodel it in response to lymphocyte activation is not understood. In this work, we established ERTR7(+)gp38(+)VCAM-1(+) FRC lines and examined the production of the ER-TR7 antigen. Multiple chemokines produced by FRCs induced T cell and dendritic cell chemotaxis and adhesion to the FRC surface. FRCs can secrete the ER-TR7 antigen as an extracellular matrix component to make a reticular meshwork in response to contact with lymphocytes. The formation of the meshwork is induced by stimulation with tumor necrosis factor-alpha or lymphotoxin-alpha in combination with agonistic antibody to lymphotoxin-beta receptor in a nuclear factor-kappaB (RelA)-dependent manner. These findings suggest that signals from lymphocytes induce FRCs to form the network that supports the movement and interactions of immune effectors within the lymph node.

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