Differentiation and activation of fibroblastic reticular cells
Journal Paper/Review - May 27, 2021
Lütge Mechthild, Pikor Natalia, Ludewig Burkhard
Secondary lymphoid organs (SLO) are underpinned by fibroblastic reticular cells (FRC) that form dedicated microenvironmental niches to secure induction and regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. Distinct FRC subsets are strategically positioned in SLOs to provide niche factors and govern efficient immune cell interaction. In recent years, the use of specialized mouse models in combination with single-cell transcriptomics has facilitated the elaboration of the molecular FRC landscape at an unprecedented resolution. While single-cell RNA-sequencing has advanced the resolution of FRC subset characterization and function, the high dimensionality of the generated data necessitates careful analysis and validation. Here, we reviewed novel findings from high-resolution transcriptomic analyses that refine our understanding of FRC differentiation and activation processes in the context of infection and inflammation. We further discuss concepts, strategies, and limitations for the analysis of single-cell transcriptome data from FRCs and the wide-ranging implications for our understanding of stromal cell biology.