Conduits Mediate Transport of Low-Molecular-Weight Antigen to Lymph Node Follicles

R. Roozendaal, T.R. Mempel, L.A. Pitcher, S.F. Gonzalez, A.M. Verschoor, R.E. Mebius, U.H. von Andrian, M.C. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

346 Citations (Scopus)


To track drainage of lymph-borne small and large antigens (Ags) into the peripheral lymph nodes and subsequent encounter by B cells and follicular dendritic cells, we used the approach of multiphoton intravital microscopy. We find a system of conduits that extend into the follicles and mediate delivery of small antigens to cognate B cells and follicular dendritic cells. The follicular conduits provide an efficient and rapid mechanism for delivery of small antigens and chemokines such as CXCL13 to B cells that directly contact the conduits. By contrast, large antigens were bound by subcapsular sinus macrophages and subsequently transferred to follicular B cells as previously reported. In summary, the findings identify a unique pathway for the channeling of small lymph-borne antigens and chemoattractants from the subcapsular sinus directly to the B cell follicles. This pathway could be used for enhancing delivery of vaccines or small molecules for improvement of humoral immunity. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-276
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Cite this