Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Microenvironment and activation signals likely imprint heterogeneity in the lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) population. Particularly LECs of secondary lymphoid organs are exposed to different cell types and immune stimuli. However, our understanding of the nature of LEC activation signals and their cell source within the secondary lymphoid organ in the steady state remains incomplete. Here we show that integrin alpha 2b (ITGA2b), known to be carried by platelets, megakaryocytes and hematopoietic progenitors, is expressed by a lymph node subset of LECs, residing in medullary, cortical and subcapsular sinuses. In the subcapsular sinus, the floor but not the ceiling layer expresses the integrin, being excluded from ACKR4+ LECs but overlapping with MAdCAM-1 expression. ITGA2b expression increases in response to immunization, raising the possibility that heterogeneous ITGA2b levels reflect variation in exposure to activation signals. We show that alterations of the level of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), by overexpression, neutralization or deletion from stromal marginal reticular cells, affected the proportion of ITGA2b+ LECs. Lymph node LECs but not peripheral LECs express RANK. In addition, we found that lymphotoxin-β receptor signaling likewise regulated the proportion of ITGA2b+ LECs. These findings demonstrate that stromal reticular cells activate LECs via RANKL and support the action of hematopoietic cell-derived lymphotoxin.

Original publication




Journal article


Plos one

Publication Date





Animals, Cells, Cultured, Endothelial Cells, Fibronectins, Lymph Nodes, Lymphotoxin-beta, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Platelet Membrane Glycoprotein IIb, RANK Ligand, Signal Transduction