[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to peripheral lymph nodes possessing lymphatic and blood vasculature, the spleen in both humans and rodents is largely devoid of functioning lymphatic capillaries. Here it is reported that in mice lacking homeodomain transcription factor Nkx2-3, the spleen contains an extensive network of lymphocyte-filled sacs lined by cells expressing LYVE-1 antigen, a marker associated with lymphatic endothelium cells (LECs). Real-time quantitative PCR analyses of Nkx2-3 mutant spleen revealed a substantial increase of LYVE-1 and podoplanin mRNA levels, without the parallel increase of mRNA for VEGFR-3 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor Type 3) and Prox1 (Prospero homeobobox protein 1), two markers specific for LECs. Although these structures express VEGFR-2/flk-1, they lack Prox1 protein, indicating their non-LEC endothelial origin. The LYVE-1(+) structures are bordered with ER-TR7(+) fibroblastic reticular cells with small clusters of macrophages expressing MARCO and sialoadhesin. Short-term cell-tracing studies using labeled lymphocytes indicate that these LYVE-1(+) cysts are largely excluded from the systemic circulation. Cells expressing LYVE-1 glycoprotein as putative precursors for such structures are detectable in the spleen of late-stage embryos, and the formation of LYVE-1(+) structures is independent from the activity of lymphotoxin β-receptor. Thus the splenic vascular defects in Nkx2-3 deficiency include the generation of LYVE-1(+) cysts, comprised of endothelial cells without being committed along the LEC lineage.
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 07/2011; 59(7):690-700. · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vasculature in the spleen and peripheral lymph nodes (pLNs) is considerably different, which affects both homing of lymphocytes and antigenic access to these peripheral lymphoid organs. In this paper, we demonstrate that in mice lacking the homeodomain transcription factor Nkx2-3, the spleen develops a pLN-like mRNA expression signature, coupled with the appearance of high endothelial venules (HEVs) that mediate L-selectin-dependent homing of lymphocytes into the mutant spleen. These ectopic HEV-like vessels undergo postnatal maturation and progressively replace MAdCAM-1 by pLN addressin together with the display of CCL21 arrest chemokine in a process that is reminiscent of HEV formation in pLNs. Similarly to pLNs, development of HEV-like vessels in the Nkx2-3-deficient spleen depends on lymphotoxin-β receptor-mediated signaling. The replacement of splenic vessels with a pLN-patterned vasculature impairs the recirculation of adoptively transferred lymphocytes and reduces the uptake of blood-borne pathogens. The Nkx2-3 mutation in BALB/c background causes a particularly disturbed splenic architecture, characterized by the near complete lack of the red pulp, without affecting lymph nodes. Thus, our observations reveal that the organ-specific patterning of splenic vasculature is critically regulated by Nkx2-3, thereby profoundly affecting the lymphocyte homing mechanism and blood filtering capacity of the spleen in a tissue-specific manner.
The Journal of Immunology 06/2011; 186(12):6981-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The formation of peripheral lymphoid tissues is indispensable for the efficient recognition and elimination of external antigens by lymphoid and accessory cells of the adaptive immune system. The spleen is structurally arranged around various vascular beds with distinct endothelial phenotypes. Using immunohistochemistry, we investigated the postnatal developmental characteristics of the marginal sinus and its relationship with various red-pulp sinus subsets. We also determined the importance of the lymphotoxin beta receptor (LT beta R) and the role of the Nkx2.3 transcription factor for the formation of the splenic vasculature. Both the administration of soluble LT beta R-Ig fusion protein to neonates and the deletion of LT beta R or downstream signaling components (RelB and p52) of the NF-kappaB family inhibited the phenotypic maturation of marginal sinus but had no effect on the vascular compartmentalization of the red pulp. The integrity of the marginal sinus and the proper vascular segregation of the red pulp appeared to be controlled by Nkx2.3, as Nkx2.3-deficient mice exhibited an abnormal distribution of IBL-7/1(hi)/IBL-9/2(-) sinuses and a lack of IBL-7/1(lo)/IBL-9/2(+) vessels. Our data suggest that phenotypic heterogeneity among different vascular elements within distinct anatomical regions of the spleen differentially depends on developmental factors such as lymphotoxin signaling or Nkx2.3, whereas the marginal sinus is controlled by both pathways.
Cell and Tissue Research 07/2007; 328(3):473-86. · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The capacity of secondary lymphoid organs to provide suitable tissue environment for mounting immune responses is dependent on their compartmentalized stromal constituents, including distinct fibroblasts. In addition to various members of the tumor necrosis factor/lymphotoxin beta family as important morphogenic regulators of peripheral lymphoid tissue development, the formation of stromal elements of spleen is also influenced by the Nkx2.3 homeodomain transcription factor in a tissue-specific fashion. Here we extend our previous work on the role of Nkx2.3-mediated regulation in the development of spleen architecture by analyzing the structure of reticular fibroblastic meshwork of spleen in inbred Nkx2.3-deficient mice. Using immunohistochemistry and dual-label immunofluorescence we found both distributional abnormalities, manifested as poor reticular compartmentalization of T-zone and circumferential reticulum, and developmental blockade, resulting in the absence of a complementary fibroblast subpopulation of white pulp. The disregulated distribution of fibroblasts was accompanied with an increased binding of immunohistochemically detectable complement factor C4 by T-cell zone-associated reticular fibroblasts, distinct from follicular dendritic cells with inherently high-level expression of bound C4. These data indicate that the impact of Nkx2.3 gene deficiency on fibroblast ontogeny within the spleen extends beyond its distributional effects, and that the formation of various white pulp fibroblast subsets is differentially affected by the presence of Nkx2.3 activity, possibly also influencing their role in various immune functions linked with complement activation and deposition.
Pathology & Oncology Research 02/2007; 13(3):227-35. · 1.56 Impact Factor