Function of CD4+CD3- cells in relation to B and T zone stroma in spleen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Lymphocytes from lymphotoxin (LT) alpha-deficient mice, which lack segregation of their B- and T-cell areas, acquire normal organization following adoptive transfer into RAG-deficient recipients, identifying a non-B non-T cell in the segregation process. Here we show that a CD4+CD3- accessory cell is tightly associated with discrete VCAM-1-expressing stromal cells in B- and T-cell areas of the mouse spleen. CD4+CD3- cells express high levels of LTalpha, LTbeta, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, which are the ligands for the LTbeta receptor and TNFR1 expressed by stromal cells. The expression of these ligands is functional, as transferring CD4+CD3- cells derived from either embryonic or adult tissues into LTalpha-deficient mice organizes B/T segregation and up-regulates CCL21 protein expression in areas where T cells are segregated from B cells. We propose that the function of CD4+CD3- cells is to form a link between primed CD4 T cells and the underlying stromal elements, creating distinct microenvironments in which they enable effector responses.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1602-10
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2007