A Fresh View on Lymph Node Organogenesis

Trends Immunol. 2018 Oct;39(10):775-787. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2018.08.003. Epub 2018 Aug 24.


Lymph nodes (LNs) are strategically positioned outposts of the immune system that underpin regional immune surveillance. The current model describing LN formation in mice is based on a two cell-type interaction scheme with lymphoid tissue inducer cells regulating the activation of mesenchymal lymphoid tissue organizer cells. We highlight here the key role of lymphatic endothelial cells during the initiation of LN formation. The involvement of lymphatic endothelial cells as an additional organizer cell type in LN organogenesis unveils multiple control levels that govern the generation of lymphoid organs. Moreover, the linkage between lymphangiogenic and lymphvasculogenic processes and guidance of the accumulation and activation of lymphoid tissue inducer cells in the embryo suggests that LN formation may be driven on demand by developing organ systems.

Keywords: development; fibroblastic reticular cells; innate lymphoid cells; lymphatic endothelial cells; lymphoid tissue inducer cells; secondary lymphoid organs; stromal cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Endothelial Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Lymph Nodes / physiology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological*
  • Organogenesis / physiology*