Conduits Mediate Transport of Low-Molecular-Weight Antigen to Lymph Node Follicles

Ramon Roozendaal, Thorsten R. Mempel, Lisa A. Pitcher, Santiago F. Gonzalez, Admar Verschoor, Reina E. Mebius, Ulrich H. von Andrian, Michael C. Carroll*

*Corresponding author for this work
303 Citations (Scopus)


To track drainage of lymph-borne small and large antigens (Ags) into the peripheral lymph nodes and subsequent encounter by B cells and follicular dendritic cells, we used the approach of multiphoton intravital microscopy. We find a system of conduits that extend into the follicles and mediate delivery of small antigens to cognate B cells and follicular dendritic cells. The follicular conduits provide an efficient and rapid mechanism for delivery of small antigens and chemokines such as CXCL13 to B cells that directly contact the conduits. By contrast, large antigens were bound by subcapsular sinus macrophages and subsequently transferred to follicular B cells as previously reported. In summary, the findings identify a unique pathway for the channeling of small lymph-borne antigens and chemoattractants from the subcapsular sinus directly to the B cell follicles. This pathway could be used for enhancing delivery of vaccines or small molecules for improvement of humoral immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)264-276
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 20.02.2009

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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