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Lymph node (LN) development depends on prenatal interactions occurring between LN inducer and LN organizer cells. We have distinguished defects in LN formation due to failure in embryonic development (aly/aly) from defects in postnatal maturation (Il2rgamma(-/-)Rag2(-/-)). Both mutant strains form normal primordial LNs with differing fate. In aly/aly mice, the LN primordium dissipates irreversibly late in gestation; in contrast, Il2rgamma(-/-)Rag2(-/-) LN anlage persists for a week after birth but disperses subsequently, a process reversible by neonatal transfer of WT IL7r(+) TCR(+) T or natural killer (NK) cells, suggesting a role for IL7/IL7r interactions. Thus, we reveal a unique stage of postnatal LN development during which mature lymphocytes and IL7/IL7r interactions may play an important role.

Original publication




Journal article


Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of america

Publication Date





13457 - 13462


Division of Molecular Immunology and Immune Cell Biology and Confocal Microscopy and Image Analysis Laboratory, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, United Kingdom.


Lymph Nodes, Killer Cells, Natural, T-Lymphocytes, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Mice, Mutant Strains, NF-kappa B, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Receptors, Interleukin-7, DNA, Complementary, Interleukin-7, Adoptive Transfer, Mutation, Transgenes, Models, Biological