Visualization and functional characterization of lymphoid organ fibroblasts
Journal Paper/Review - Dec 5, 2021
Onder Lucas, Cheng Hung-Wei, Ludewig Burkhard
Fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) are specialized stromal cells of lymphoid organs that generate the structural foundation of the tissue and actively interact with immune cells. Distinct FRC subsets position lymphocytes and myeloid cells in specialized niches where they present processed or native antigen and provide essential growth factors and cytokines for immune cell activation and differentiation. Niche-specific functions of FRC subpopulations have been defined using genetic targeting, high-dimensional transcriptomic analyses, and advanced imaging methods. Here, we review recent findings on FRC-immune cell interaction and the elaboration of FRC development and differentiation. We discuss how imaging approaches have not only shaped our understanding of FRC biology, but have critically advanced the niche concept of immune cell maintenance and control of immune reactivity.