Review in Trends in Immunology for Acton lab
Fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) are a crucial part of the stromal cell infrastructure of secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs). Lymphoid organ fibroblasts form specialized niches for immune cell interactions and thereby govern lymphocyte activation and differentiation. Moreover, FRCs produce and ensheath a network of extracellular matrix (ECM) microfibers called the conduit system. FRC-generated conduits contribute to fluid and immune cell control by funneling fluids containing antigens and inflammatory mediators through the SLOs. We review recent progress in FRC biology that has advanced our understanding of immune cell functions and interactions. We discuss the intricate relationships between the cellular FRC and the fibrillar conduit networks, which together form the basis for efficient communication between immune cells and the tissues they survey.