Tertiary lymphoid organs in infection and autoimmunity

Trends Immunol. 2012 Jun;33(6):297-305. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 May 21.


The lymph nodes (LNs) and spleen have an optimal structure that allows the interaction between T cells, B cells and antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs) on a matrix made up by stromal cells. Such a highly organized structure can also be formed in tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs) at sites of infection or chronic immune stimulation. This review focuses on the molecular mechanisms of TLO formation and maintenance, the controversies surrounding the nature of the inducing events, and the functions of these structures in infection, transplantation and autoimmunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Humans
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Models, Immunological