Fibroblast subtypes in tissues affected by autoimmunity: with lessons from lymph node fibroblasts

Curr Opin Immunol. 2020 May 5;64:63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2020.03.002. Online ahead of print.


The recent advent of single-cell technologies has fast-tracked the discovery of multiple fibroblast subsets in tissues affected by autoimmune disease. In recent years, interest in lymph node fibroblasts that support and regulate immune cells has also grown, leading to an expanding framework of stromal cell subsets with distinct spatial, transcriptional, and functional characteristics. Inflammation can drive tissue fibroblasts to adopt a lymphoid tissue stromal cell phenotype, suggesting that fibroblasts in diseased tissues can have counterparts in lymphoid tissues. Here, we examine fibroblast subsets in tissues affected by autoimmunity in the context of knowledge gained from studies on lymph node fibroblasts, with the ultimate aim to better understand stromal cell heterogeneity in these immunologically reactive tissues.

Publication types

  • Review