Researchers have uncovered a sieve-like structure in lymph nodes that regulates the transport of proteins and migration of white blood cells into lymph nodes. The discovery, made by scientists working at the University of Turku, Finland, will provide new insights into rapid defence responses in the human immune system. The research was carried out with funding from the Academy of Finland and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation.
The microscopic image shows a lymph node where the PLVAP protein (in green) appears both in the blood vessels in the medulla and in the lymph vessels immediately beneath the capsule. All nuclei of the cells are shown in blue and a certain leukocyte subpopulation in purple.
Credit:The University of Turku
The research was led by Professor Marko Salmi and conducted at the MediCity Research Laboratory of the University of Turku. The endothelial protein PLVAP in lymphatics controls the entry of lymphocytes and antigens into lymph nodes was published in Nature Immunology, a leading scientific journal in the field of immunology, DOI 10.1038/ni.3101