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Topological Structure and Robustness of the Lymph Node Conduit System

Mario Novkovic, Lucas Onder, Gennady Bocharov & Burkhard Ludewig

abstract Fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) form a road-like cellular network in lymph nodes (LNs) that provides essential chemotactic, survival, and regulatory signals for immune cells. While the topological characteristics of the FRC network have been elaborated, the network properties of the micro-tubular conduit system generated by FRCs, which drains lymph fluid through a pipeline-like system to distribute small molecules and antigens, has remained unexplored. Here, we quantify the crucial 3D morphometric parameters and determine the topological properties governing the structural organization of the intertwined networks. We find that the conduit system exhibits lesser small-worldness and lower resilience to perturbation compared to the FRC network, while the robust topological organization of both networks is maintained in a lymphotoxin-β-receptor-independent manner. Overall, the high-resolution topological analysis of the "roads-and-pipes" networks highlights essential parameters underlying the functional organization of LN micro-environments and will, hence, advance the development of multi-scale LN models.
   
citation Novkovic M, Onder L, Bocharov G, Ludewig B. Topological Structure and Robustness of the Lymph Node Conduit System. Cell Rep 2020; 30:893-904.e6.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 21-1-2020
journal title Cell Rep (30/3)
ISSN electronic 2211-1247
pages 893-904.e6
PubMed 31968261
DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.12.070