TNFα-dependent development of lymphoid tissue in the absence of RORγt⁺ lymphoid tissue inducer cells

G C Furtado, M E Pacer, G Bongers, C Bénézech, Z He, L Chen, M C Berin, G Kollias, J H Caamaño, S A Lira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Lymphoid tissue often forms within sites of chronic inflammation. Here we report that expression of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) drives development of lymphoid tissue in the intestine. Formation of this ectopic lymphoid tissue was not dependent on the presence of canonical RORgt(+) lymphoid tissue-inducer (LTi) cells, because animals expressing increased levels of TNFα but lacking RORgt(+) LTi cells (TNF/Rorc(gt)(-/-) mice) developed lymphoid tissue in inflamed areas. Unexpectedly, such animals developed several lymph nodes (LNs) that were structurally and functionally similar to those of wild-type animals. TNFα production by F4/80(+) myeloid cells present within the anlagen was important for the activation of stromal cells during the late stages of embryogenesis and for the activation of an organogenic program that allowed the development of LNs. Our results show that lymphoid tissue organogenesis can occur in the absence of LTi cells and suggest that interactions between TNFα-expressing myeloid cells and stromal cells have an important role in secondary lymphoid organ formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-614
Number of pages13
JournalMucosal immunology
Issue number3
Early online date16 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014


  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation/metabolism
  • CD11b Antigen/metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation/genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 2/genetics
  • Killer Cells, Natural/immunology
  • Lymph Nodes/immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue/embryology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group F, Member 3/genetics
  • Organogenesis/genetics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stromal Cells/cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics


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