Infoscience

Journal article

Interactions between fibroblastic reticular cells and B cells promote mesenteric lymph node lymphangiogenesis

Lymphatic growth (lymphangiogenesis) within lymph nodes functions to promote dendritic cell entry and effector lymphocyte egress in response to infection or inflammation. Here we demonstrate a crucial role for lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LT beta R) signaling to fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) by lymphotoxin-expressing B cells in driving mesenteric lymph node lymphangiogenesis following helminth infection. LT beta R ligation on fibroblastic reticular cells leads to the production of B-cell-activating factor (BAFF), which synergized with interleukin-4 (IL-4) to promote the production of the lymphangiogenic factors, vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF)-A and VEGF-C, by B cells. In addition, the BAFF-IL-4 synergy augments expression of lymphotoxin by antigen-activated B cells, promoting further B cell-fibroblastic reticular cell interactions. These results underlie the importance of lymphotoxin-dependent B cell-FRC cross talk in driving the expansion of lymphatic networks that function to promote and maintain immune responsiveness.

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