Immunofluorescence characterization of innervation and nerve-immune cell interactions in mouse lymph nodes

  • Dailun Hu Clinical College, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China.
  • Philip K. Nicholls Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia.
  • Melissa Claus School of Veterinary Medicine, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia.
  • Yongkang Wu Department of Laboratory Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
  • Zhongli Shi Clinical College, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China.
  • Wayne K. Greene Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia.
  • Bin Ma | B.Ma@murdoch.edu.au Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia.

Abstract

The peripheral nervous system communicates specifically with the immune system via local interactions. These interactions include the “hardwiring” of sympathetic/parasympathetic (efferent) and sensory nerves (afferent) to primary (e.g., thymus and bone marrow) and secondary (e.g., lymph node, spleen, and gut-associated lymphoid tissue) lymphoid tissue/organs. To gain a better understanding of this bidirectional interaction/crosstalk between the two systems, we have investigated the distribution of nerve fibres and PNS-immune cell associations in situ in the mouse lymph node by using immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy/ three-dimensional reconstruction. Our results demonstrate i) the presence of extensive nerve fibres in all compartments (including B cell follicles) in the mouse lymph node; ii) close contacts/associations of nerve fibres with blood vessels (including high endothelial venules) and lymphatic vessels/sinuses; iii) close contacts/associations of nerve fibres with various subsets of dendritic cells (e.g., B220+CD11c+, CD4+CD11c+, CD8a+CD11c+, and Mac1+CD11c+), Mac1+ macrophages, and B/T lymphocytes. Our novel findings concerning the innervation and nerve-immune cell interactions inside the mouse lymph node should greatly facilitate our understanding of the effects that the peripheral nervous system has on cellular- and humoral-mediated immune responses or vice versa in health and disease.

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Published
2019-10-18
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Original Papers
Keywords:
Innervation, lymph node, dendritic cell, lymphocytes, neurofilament, immunofluorescence staining
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How to Cite
Hu, D., Nicholls, P. K., Claus, M., Wu, Y., Shi, Z., Greene, W. K., & Ma, B. (2019). Immunofluorescence characterization of innervation and nerve-immune cell interactions in mouse lymph nodes. European Journal of Histochemistry, 63(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ejh.2019.3059