Organogenesis of lymphoid tissues

Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Apr;3(4):292-303. doi: 10.1038/nri1054.


The development of lymphoid organs depends on the correct expression of several molecules within a defined timeframe during ontogeny. Although this is an extremely complex process, with each secondary lymphoid tissue requiring subtly different signals, a common framework for lymphoid development is beginning to emerge. Drawing on studies of lymph nodes, Peyer's patches and nasal-associated lymphoid tissue, an integrative model of lymphoid-tissue development, involving adhesion molecules, cytokines and chemokines, which emphasizes the role of interactions between CD3-CD4+CD45+ 'inducer' cells and VCAM1+ICAM1+ stromal 'organizer' cells is presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphoid Tissue / embryology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / growth & development*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Immunological
  • Organ Specificity
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Chemokines
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha