Lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LTbetaR) axis plays a crucial role in development and compartmentalization of peripheral lymphatic organs. But, it is also required for the appropriate function and maintenance of structural integrity of the thymus: in LTbetaR-deficient animals the clonal deletion of autoreactive lymphocytes is impaired and differentiation of thymic medullary epithelial cells is disturbed. In this study, using several markers, we showed that thymic metallophilic macrophages were lacking in LTbetaR-deficient mice. In tumor necrosis factor receptor-I (p55)-deficient mice (which we used as positive control) thymic metallophilic cells were located, similarly as in normal mice, in the thymic cortico-medullary zone at the junction of cortex and medulla. These findings show that LTbetaR is necessary for maintenance of metallophilic macrophages in the thymus and provide further evidence that these cells may represent a factor involved in thymic negative selection.
"This Wnding was concluded by investigating the thymus of Aire-deWcient mice, where these cells are fully developed, compared to mice deWcient in nuclear factor-B-inducing kinase (NIK) which acted as negative control animals. The authors interpreted their Wndings to support an even more important role of lymphotoxin-receptor signaling for the development of metallophilic macrophages, which had been reported previously (Milicevic et al. 2006). Mikkelsen et al. (2008) put particular emphasis on studying the macrophage system in the intestinal muscularis externa during inXammation. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Central to modern Histochemistry and Cell Biology stands the need for visualization of cellular and molecular processes. In the past several years, a variety of techniques has been achieved bridging traditional light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy with powerful software-based post-processing and computer modeling. Researchers now have various tools available to investigate problems of interest from bird's- up to worm's-eye of view, focusing on tissues, cells, proteins or finally single molecules. Applications of new approaches in combination with well-established traditional techniques of mRNA, DNA or protein analysis have led to enlightening and prudent studies which have paved the way toward a better understanding of not only physiological but also pathological processes in the field of cell biology. This review is intended to summarize articles standing for the progress made in "histo-biochemical" techniques and their manifold applications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymic metallophilic macrophages represent a significant component in the thymus physiology. Recently, we showed their presence to be dependent on functional lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LT beta R) signaling pathway. However, it is unknown whether the development of metallophilic macrophages also requires the Autoimmune regulator (Aire) transcription factor, as suggested by some studies for medullary thymic epithelial cells, or perhaps the presence of Aire-expressing thymic epithelial cells themselves. Therefore, we investigated the presence of metallophilic macrophages in Aire-deficient thymus. Our study shows that the metallophilic macrophages are fully developed in the Aire-deficient thymus; their development is not regulated via Aire transcription factor and does not require the presence of Aire-expressing epithelial cells. On the contrary, in alymphoplasia (ALY) mice (deficient in nuclear factor-kappaB-inducing kinase, NIK), which we used as negative control, thymic metallophilic macrophages are completely lacking, similarly as in LT beta R-deficient animals. Together, these results show that the development/maintenance of thymic metallophilic macrophages is executed via LT beta R circumventing the Aire transcription factor. Thus, we shed a new light on the molecular requirements for development of these cells and also show that LT beta R pathway is a common developmental regulator of metallophilic macrophages in different lymphatic organs (i.e., thymus and spleen).
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