Ontogeny of the follicular dendritic cell phenotype and function in the postnatal murine spleen

Péter Balogh, Yüksel Aydar, John G. Tew, Andras K. Szakal

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) represent a unique cell population of antigen trapping cells restricted to follicles within the secondary lymphoid tissues. FDCs appear to be involved in the formation of primary follicles during the ontogeny of lymphoid tissue. We sought to determine the kinetics and tissue distribution of cells in the spleen of newborn mice expressing various differentiation antigens restricted to FDCs using immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against FDCs and in vivo immune complex binding and retention. The earliest FDC-specific marker displayed was the antigenic determinant recognized by the FDC-M1 mAb, which was detectable by Day 3 prior to follicle formation on cells located around the peripheral part of the developing white pulp. The appearance of CD21/35 (complement receptor Type 2 and 1, CR1.2) was observed at the end of the first week, revealing a focal pattern in B-cell-rich areas. In addition, at that time there were some FDC-M1-positive cells in the nonfollicular part of the periarteriolar region. The administration of anti-horseradish peroxidase antibody followed by soluble antigen HRP into 7-day-old newborn mice resulted in the trapping and retention of immune complexes onto FDCs even in the absence of Fcγ receptors. The appearance of another FDC-specific marker, FDC-M2, was observed during the second week after birth and was restricted on the cells located in the same area as CR1.2 cells. The Fcγ receptor Type II appeared on FDCs after the second postnatal week. The above sequence of phenotypic maturation could also be observed in newborns after lethal irradiation at Day 3. This indicates that not only mature FDCs but also their precursors are highly radioresistant, and their phenotypic maturation follows a programmed path that requires only a small number of mature B cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 25 2001


  • Development
  • Follicular dendritic cells
  • Mouse spleen
  • Phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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