Structural and Functional Changes to Lymph Nodes in Ageing Mice

Vivian Turner, Neil Mabbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lymph nodes (LN) are secondary lymphoid organs spread throughout the lymphatic system. They function to filter pathogenic material from the lymphatic fluid to maintain the health of the organism. Subcapsular sinus macrophages (SCSM) are amongst the first-responders within the LN due to their strategic location within the subcapsular sinus region. These macrophages aid the delivery of immune complexes to B cells and follicular dendritic cells (FDC) within the LN. Here we show an increase in SCSM and other macrophage populations within aged LN. However, immune complex uptake by macrophages within LN was not altered with age, nor was immune complex uptake by B cells. LN stromal cell populations, important in immune responses and the localisation and survival of leukocytes, were altered in their representation and distribution in aged LN. In particular FDC regions were decreased in size and had decreased chemokine CXCL13 expression. Furthermore, the retention of immune complexes by FDC was decreased in aged LN at 24 hours post- injection. Since FDC are important in the maintenance of germinal centre responses, the decreased retention of IC in aged LN may contribute to the reduced germinal centre responses observed in aged mice.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Early online date16 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Lymph Node
  • Ageing
  • Follicular Dendritic Cells
  • Macrophages
  • Stromal cells


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