Until recently little information was available on the molecular details of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of secondary lymphoid tissues. There is now growing evidence that these ECMs are unique structures, combining characteristics of basement membranes and interstitial or fibrillar matrices, resulting in scaffolds that are strong and highly flexible and, in certain secondary lymphoid compartments, also forming conduit networks for rapid fluid transport. This review will address the structural characteristics of the ECM of the murine spleen and its potential role as an organizer of immune cell compartments, with reference to the lymph node where relevant.
- Extracellular matrix
- Reticular fibres