Lymphoid tissue inducer cells: bridges between the ancient innate and the modern adaptive immune systems

Mucosal Immunol. 2009 Nov;2(6):472-7. doi: 10.1038/mi.2009.111. Epub 2009 Sep 9.


Phylogeny indicates that adaptive immunity evolved first in diffusely distributed lymphoid tissues found in the lamina propria (LP) of the gut. B follicular structures appeared later, probably initially in isolated lymphoid follicles in the LP and then in organized lymphoid tissues such as lymph nodes and Peyer's patches. The development of these new lymphoid structures was enabled by gene duplication and evolution of new tumor necrosis family members. Here, we argue that lymphoid tissue inducer cells (LTis) had a pivotal role, not only in the development of organized lymphoid structures, but also in the subsequent genesis of the CD4-dependent class-switched memory antibody responses. In this review, we concentrate on the latter function: the sustenance by LTis of CD4 T-cell responses for protective immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Phylogeny