Lymph node stromal cell research group



We examine how structural cells of the lymph node foster the initiation and healthy regulation of immune responses.

Our research group

Our laboratory uses a range of cutting-edge cellular and molecular techniques to examine immunological interactions between stromal cells and leukocytes, focussing on interactions between lymph node fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) and T cells, in both healthy and disease states.

Lymph nodes are sites where immune responses are initiated, but this process is carefully controlled, because an immune response against self-tissue causes autoimmune disease. FRCs are cells specialised for interactions with the immune system. Within LNs, FRCs attract and arrange T cells, B cells and dendritic cells into characteristic zones and promote their survival.

Previous work has shown that FRCs play an important role in preventing autoimmunity by deleting T cells that try to respond to self-tissue. The relevance of this observation to various disease states is a primary focus of the laboratory.

Recent publications

Fletcher A.L., Elman J., Astarita J., Murray R., Saeidi N., D’Rozario J., Knoblich K., Brown F.D., Schildberg F., Nieves J.M., Heng T.S.P., Boyd R.L., Turley S.J., Parekkadan B. (2014), Lymph node fibroblastic reticular cell transplants show robust therapeutic efficacy in high-mortality murine sepsis. Sci. Trans. Med.,6(249):249ra109

Knoblich K., Wang H.X., Sharma C., Fletcher A.L., Turley S.J., Hemler M.E. (2013), Tetraspanin TSPAN12 regulates tumor growth and metastasis and inhibits b-catenin degradation. Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 71(7):1305-14.

Malhotra  D.* and Fletcher A.L.*,  ImmGen Consortium et al. (2012), Transcriptional profiling of inflamed and steady-state lymph node stroma reveals immunological hallmarks. Nat. Immunol., 13(5):499-510  (*co-first author)

Fletcher A.L.Malhotra D., Turley S.J.(2011), Lymph node stroma broaden the peripheral tolerance paradigm. Trends Immunol., 32(1):12-18

Fletcher A.L.Lukacs-Kornek V., Reynoso E.D., Pinner S.E., Bellemare-Pelletier A., Curry M.S., Collier A., Boyd R.L. and Turley S.J. (2010), Lymph node fibroblastic reticular cells directly present peripheral tissue antigen under steady-state and inflammatory conditions. J. Exp. Med., 207(4):689


Konstantin Knoblich PhD, Research Fellow

Joshua D’Rozario, BBiotech(hons), PhD candidate (2014-2016)