Age-Associated Reduction of Sinus Macrophages in Human Mesenteric Lymph Nodes

J Clin Exp Hematop. 2024 Mar 11. doi: 10.3960/jslrt.24001. Online ahead of print.


There are numerous macrophages and dendritic cells in lymph nodes (LNs). Recent studies have highlighted that sinus macrophages (SMs) in LNs possess antigen-presenting capabilities and are related to anti-cancer immune responses. In this study, we assessed the distribution of SMs in mesenteric LNs removed during surgery for colorectal cancer. A marked reduction of SMs was noted in elderly patients, particularly those over 80 years old. We observed a disappearance of CD169-positive cells in LNs where SMs were reduced. In silico analysis of publicly available single-cell RNA sequencing data from LNs revealed that CD169-positive macrophages express numerous genes associated with antigen presentation and lymphocyte proliferation, similar to dendritic cells' functions. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that SMs, potentially crucial for immune activation, diminish in the LNs of elderly patients. This reduction of SMs may contribute to the immune dysfunction observed in the elderly.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; lymph node; sinus macrophage.