A Theory of Follicular Dendritic Cell Origin

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 201)


The currently favored follicular dendritic cell (FDC) derivation theory holds that FDC are of local origin, probably developing from fibroblastic or primitive reticular cells (Kamperdijk et al. 1978; Groscurth 1980; Heusermann et al. 1980a,b; Imai et al. 1983; Dijkstra etal. 1984; Humphrey etal. 1984) or from mesenchymal cells (pericytes around capillaries) found locally in follicles (Rademakers etal. 1988). In early studies, FDC were identified as a reticular cell type (Mitchell and Abbot 1965; Szakal and Hanna 1968), primarily on account of the similarities between reticular cell and FDC nuclei. Both cell types possess a highly euchromatic nucleus with some marginated chromatin. However, the nuclei of FDC tend to be more pleomorphic and to exhibit a greater variety of nuclear shapes, lobations, and numbers of nuclei. Cells identified by electron microscopic antigen localizations as FDC were occasionally also shown to be closely associated with reticular fibers (Mitchell and Abbot 1965; Dijkstra etal. 1984). Humphrey etal. (1984) reported that FDC in bone marrow chimeras were of the host phenotype, which further strengthened the belief that FDC are of local derivation. Our report on antigen transport in the lymph node (Szakal et al. 1983) suggested that antigen-transporting cells (ATC) were pre-FDC, originating outside of the lymph node. We thus began to question the FDC local origin theory. In addition to the descriptive antigen transport data, we obtained supporting data from experiments conducted with bone marrow chimeras (Kapasi et al. 1993).


Germinal Center Follicular Dendritic Cell Popliteal Lymph Node Bone Marrow Precursor Bone Marrow Chimera 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Division of Immunobiology, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology/Immunology, Medical College of VirginiaVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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