Research into how self-reactive T cells are tolerized in lymph nodes has focused largely on dendritic cells (DCs). We now know that lymph node stromal cells (LNSC) are important mediators of deletional tolerance to peripheral tissue-restricted antigens (PTAs), which are constitutively expressed and presented by LNSCs. Of the major LNSC subsets, fibroblastic reticular cells and lymphatic endothelial cells are known to directly induce tolerance of responding naïve CD8 T cells. The biological outcome of this interaction fills a void otherwise not covered by DCs or thymic stromal cells. These findings, we suggest, necessitate a broadening of peripheral tolerance theory to include steady-state presentation of clinically relevant PTA to naïve CD8 T cells by lymph node-resident stroma.
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