Tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs) are accumulations of lymphoid cells in chronic inflammation that resemble LNs in their cellular content and organization, high endothelial venules, and lymphatic vessels (LVs). Although acute inflammation can result in defective LVs, TLO LVs appear to function normally in that they drain fluid and transport cells that respond to chemokines and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) gradients. Molecular regulation of TLO LVs differs from lymphangiogenesis in ontogeny with a dependence on cytokines and hematopoietic cells. Ongoing work to elucidate the function and molecular regulation of LVs in TLOs is providing insight into therapies for conditions as diverse as lymphedema, autoimmunity, and cancer.
Nancy H. Ruddle