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          Institute: MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie     Collection: Abteilungsunabhängige Arbeitsgruppen     Display Documents

ID: 306453.0, MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie / Abteilungsunabhängige Arbeitsgruppen
Characterization of a conduit system containing laminin-5 in the human thymus: a potential transport system for small molecules.
Authors:Drumea-Mirancea, M.; Wessels, J. T.; Müller, C. A.; Essl, M.; Eble, J. A.; Tolosa, E.; Koch, M.; Reinhardt, D. P.; Sixt, M.; Sorokin, L.; Stierhof, York-Dieter; Schwarz, Heinz; Klein, G.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2006-04-01
Title of Journal:J Cell Sci. 2006 Apr 1;119(Pt 7):1396-405.
Issue / Number:(Pt 7)
Start Page:1396
End Page:1405
Sequence Number of Article:16537647
Review Status:not specified
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:T cells develop in the thymus in a highly specialized cellular and extracellular microenvironment. The basement membrane molecule, laminin-5 (LN-5), is predominantly found in the medulla of the human thymic lobules. Using high-resolution light microscopy, we show here that LN-5 is localized in a bi-membranous conduit-like structure, together with other typical basement membrane components including collagen type IV, nidogen and perlecan. Other interstitial matrix components, such as fibrillin-1 or -2, tenascin-C or fibrillar collagen types, were also associated with these structures. Three-dimensional (3D) confocal microscopy suggested a tubular structure, whereas immunoelectron and transmission electron microscopy showed that the core of these tubes contained fibrillar collagens enwrapped by the LN-5-containing membrane. These medullary conduits are surrounded by thymic epithelial cells, which in vitro were found to bind LN-5, but also fibrillin and tenascin-C. Dendritic cells were also detected in close vicinity to the conduits. Both of these stromal cell types express major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules capable of antigen presentation. The conduits are connected to blood vessels but, with an average diameter of 2 mum, they are too small to transport cells. However, evidence is provided that smaller molecules such as a 10 kDa dextran, but not large molecules (>500 kDa), can be transported in the conduits. These results clearly demonstrate that a conduit system, which is also known from secondary lymphatic organs such as lymph nodes and spleen, is present in the medulla of the human thymus, and that it might serve to transport small blood-borne molecules or chemokines to defined locations within the medulla.
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Affiliations:MPI für Entwicklungsbiologie/Abteilungsunabhängige Arbeitsgruppen
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