JCI table of contents: September 21, 2006


IMMUNOLOGY: Lymph nodes and lymph nodelike structures: not as similar as they seem

Individuals with Hashimoto thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease caused by the immune system attacking and destroying the cells of the thyroid, have structures that resemble lymph nodes in their thyroid. Much is known about the formation of lymph nodes and it has been suggested that the lymph nodelike structures in the thyroid form in similar ways. Now, in a study appearing online on September 21 in advance of publication in the October print issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, have shown that in mice lymph nodelike structures in the thyroid are formed in a different way to normal lymph nodes.

Sergio Lira and colleagues showed that the cells that organize the development of lymph nodes (lymphoid tissueinducer cells) are not required for the development of lymph nodelike structures in the thyroid. Rather, mature CD3+CD4+ T cells initiated this process. These T cells entered the thyroid and interacted with a thyroid-resident cell type, the dendritic cell, to induce the formation of lymph nodelike structures. The model of the formation of lymph nodelike structures in the thyroid described in this study should allow researchers to determine whether these structures are important for disease progression and, if they are, to design strategies to block their formation.

TITLE: Interaction of mature CD3+CD4+ T cells with dendritic cells triggers the development of tertiary lymphoid structures in the thyroid

AUTHOR CONTACT: Sergio A. Lira Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA. Phone: (212) 659-9404; Fax: (212) 849-2525; E-mail: sergio.lira@mssm.edu.

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Contact: Karen Honey
Journal of Clinical Investigation

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