Heterogeneity of lymphoid tissue inducer cell populations present in embryonic and adult mouse lymphoid tissues

Immunology. 2008 Jun;124(2):166-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2007.02750.x. Epub 2008 Jan 16.


Lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells have a well established role in secondary lymphoid tissue development. Here, we report on the heterogeneity of LTi cells based on their CD4 and chemokine receptor expression. The CD4(-) LTi-cell population has a similar phenotype to the CD4(+) population, with similar chemokine-receptor-expressing subsets. In both embryonic and adult spleen the CD4(-) LTi-cell population is comparable as a proportion of total splenocytes to its CD4(+) counterpart. In contrast, different proportions of CD4(+) and CD4(-) LTi cells are found in different lymph nodes. Both CD4(+) and CD4(-) LTi cells share the anatomical location and are associated with vascular cell adhesion molecule-1-positive stromal cells in spleen and lymph nodes. The numbers of both CD4(+) and CD4(-) LTi cells in adult spleen are augmented in the presence of B cells. With the exception of CD4, there is a strong correlation coefficient (0.89) for gene expression between the two populations. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of individual CD4(+) and CD4(-) LTi cells shows that a similar proportion in embryonic and adult spleen co-expressed both CXCR5 and CCR7 or CXCR5 alone: 84.6% for adult CD4(+) and 87.6% for adult CD4(-); 95.3% for embryonic CD4(+) and 91.5% for embryonic CD4(-). Consistently fewer CCR7 single-positive cells were found in the CD4(+) and CD4(-) fractions in the embryo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / immunology*
  • Gene Expression / immunology
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Receptors, CCR7 / metabolism
  • Receptors, CXCR5 / metabolism
  • Spleen / embryology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism


  • CXCR5 protein, mouse
  • Ccr7 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, CXCR5
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1