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Immune Support

Role revealed of support cells called fibroblast reticular cells in shaping the immune response of the tonsil

05 June 2023

Immune Support

Your immune cells work with an entourage of stromal cells. In your tonsils, these stromal cells are called fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs). They support the communication, movement and survival of immune cells. Researchers now investigate how FRCs change with age and inflammation using tonsil tissue samples from children and adults with or without the inflammatory condition tonsillitis. Stromal and immune cells were isolated from tonsil tissue to analyse their RNA and tissue samples were also labelled for fluorescence microscopy (pictured). This revealed increasing FRC numbers with age and changes in their gene activity with age and inflammation. The team also found a subset of FRCs that were far more abundant in adults than children and showed the strongest reaction to inflammation. These FRCs interacted with and controlled the activity of the immune cells, T-cells. This highlights how FRCs change with age and their role in regulating immunity in the tonsils.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

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