Lymphoid stromal cell responses to infection

Project Details

The lymphoid tissues (spleen and lymph nodes) are constructed of a complex microarchitecture that is supported by networks of endothelial and mesenchymal stromal cells. The T cell zones in the spleen and lymph nodes are supported by a network of stromal cells known as fibroblastic reticular cells (FRC) (Figure 1). Little is known of the phenotype of these stromal cell subsets and how they can influence the immune cells they regularly interact with. We are examining how FRC contribute to the expansion and contraction of secondary lymphoid organs during immune responses to acute and chronic viral infections, as well as following recall infection. The phenotypic changes that occur in the secondary lymphoid organ stromal cells after infection will reveal how FRC function changes and whether pathogens can differentially influence the functions of these critical cells and how this influences immunity.

mueller pic

Figure 1: The gp38+ stromal cell network (red) in the T cell zone of a lymph node. B220+ B cells, blue.

Research Publications

  1. Stromal cell contributions to the homeostasis and functionality of the immune system.
    Mueller SN, Germain RN.
    Nat Rev Immunol 2009 Sep;9(9):618-29. doi: 10.1038/nri2588. Epub 2009 Jul 31. PMID: 19644499
  2. Viral targeting of fibroblastic reticular cells contributes to immunosuppression and persistence during chronic infection.
    Mueller SN, Matloubian M, Clemens DM, Sharpe AH, Freeman GJ, Gangappa S, Larsen CP, Ahmed R.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Sep 25;104(39):15430-5. Epub 2007 Sep 18. PMID: 17878315
  3. Regulation of homeostatic chemokine expression and cell trafficking during immune responses.
    Mueller SN, Hosiawa-Meagher KA, Konieczny BT, Sullivan BM, Bachmann MF, Locksley RM, Ahmed R, Matloubian M.
    Science 2007 Aug 3;317(5838):670-4. PMID: 17673664