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Adaptive immunity critically depends on the functional compartmentalization of secondary lymphoid organs. Mesenchymal stromal cells create and maintain specialized niches that support survival, activation, and expansion of T and B cells, and integrated analysis of lymphocytes and their niche has been instrumental in understanding adaptive immunity. Lymphoid organs are also home to type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3), innate effector cells essential for barrier immunity. However, a specialized stromal niche for ILC3 has not been identified. A novel lineage-tracing approach now identifies a subset of murine fetal lymphoid tissue organizer cells that gives rise exclusively to adult marginal reticular cells. Moreover, both cell types are conserved from mice to humans and colocalize with ILC3 in secondary lymphoid tissues throughout life. In sum, we provide evidence that fetal stromal organizers give rise to adult marginal reticular cells and form a dedicated stromal niche for innate ILC3 in adaptive lymphoid organs.

Original publication




Journal article


J immunol

Publication Date





4257 - 4263


Animals, Cell Lineage, Chemokines, Female, Fetus, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, Lymph Nodes, Lymphocytes, Lymphoid Tissue, Male, Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Mice, Transgenic, Microscopy, Confocal, RANK Ligand, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Stem Cell Niche, Stromal Cells, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1