Lymph nodes (LNs) comprise two main structural elements: fibroblastic reticular cells that form dedicated niches for immune cell interaction and capsular fibroblasts that build a shell around the organ. Immunological challenge causes LNs to increase more than tenfold in size within a few days. Here, we characterized the biomechanics of LN swelling on the cellular and organ scale. We identified lymphocyte trapping by influx and proliferation as drivers of an outward pressure force, causing fibroblastic reticular cells of the T-zone (TRCs) and their associated conduits to stretch. After an initial phase of relaxation, TRCs sensed the resulting strain through cell matrix adhesions, which coordinated local growth and remodeling of the stromal network. While the expanded TRC network readopted its typical configuration, a massive fibrotic reaction of the organ capsule set in and countered further organ expansion. Thus, different fibroblast populations mechanically control LN swelling in a multitier fashion.
This research was supported by the Scientific Service Units of IST Austria through resources provided by the Imaging and Optics, Electron Microscopy, Preclinical and Life Science Facilities. We thank C. Moussion for providing anti-PNAd antibody and D. Critchley for Talin1-floxed mice, and E. Papusheva for providing a custom 3D channel alignment script. This work was supported by a European Research Council grant ERC-CoG-72437 to M.S. M.H. was supported by Czech Sciencundation GACR 20-24603Y and Charles University PRIMUS/20/MED/013.
Assen FP, Abe J, Hons M, et al. Multitier mechanics control stromal adaptations in swelling lymph nodes. Nature Immunology. 2022;23:1246-1255. doi:10.1038/s41590-022-01257-4
Assen, F. P., Abe, J., Hons, M., Hauschild, R., Shamipour, S., Kaufmann, W., … Sixt, M. K. (2022). Multitier mechanics control stromal adaptations in swelling lymph nodes. Nature Immunology. Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-022-01257-4
Assen, Frank P, Jun Abe, Miroslav Hons, Robert Hauschild, Shayan Shamipour, Walter Kaufmann, Tommaso Costanzo, et al. “Multitier Mechanics Control Stromal Adaptations in Swelling Lymph Nodes.” Nature Immunology. Springer Nature, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-022-01257-4.
F. P. Assen et al., “Multitier mechanics control stromal adaptations in swelling lymph nodes,” Nature Immunology, vol. 23. Springer Nature, pp. 1246–1255, 2022.
Assen FP, Abe J, Hons M, Hauschild R, Shamipour S, Kaufmann W, Costanzo T, Krens G, Brown M, Ludewig B, Hippenmeyer S, Heisenberg C-PJ, Weninger W, Hannezo EB, Luther SA, Stein JV, Sixt MK. 2022. Multitier mechanics control stromal adaptations in swelling lymph nodes. Nature Immunology. 23, 1246–1255.
Assen, Frank P., et al. “Multitier Mechanics Control Stromal Adaptations in Swelling Lymph Nodes.” Nature Immunology, vol. 23, Springer Nature, 2022, pp. 1246–55, doi:10.1038/s41590-022-01257-4.
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