Stromal cells reside in all bodily organs and have long been viewed as chief structural determinants of tissue organization, function, and regeneration. It is becoming increasingly clear that lymphoid organs contain a developmentally related network of highly specialized myofibroblasts known as fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs). Our understanding of lymph node and spleen FRC function in immune homeostasis and inflammatory disease is incomplete; however, emerging evidence suggests that these cells are of central importance in immunity and tolerance. Likewise, the precise impact of inflammation on stromal cell numbers, activation, gene expression, and function in situ remains unclear. Using genetic and molecular approaches that target specific subsets of stromal cells in vivo we have begun to examine the identity, plasticity, and immunological functions of FRCs in healthy, inflamed, and malignant tissues. We are systematically defining gene expression and molecular elements that control the activation of FRCs across multiple lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs. Additional studies examining the spatial contexture and molecular interactions between fibroblastic reticular cells and immunocytes have identified previously unknown and functionally significant cross-talk between these compartments in health and inflammatory disease settings. New findings from this work will be presented.
Citation Format: Shannon Turley. Emerging insights into stromal cell function inimmune homeostasis and inflammation [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr IA11.
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