Harnessing the lymph node microenvironment

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To evaluate role of the lymph node in immune regulation and tolerance in transplantation and recent advances in the delivery of antigen and immune modulatory signals to the lymph node.

Recent findings

Lymph nodes are a primary site of immune cell priming, activation, and modulation, and changes within the lymph node microenvironment have the potential to induce specific regulation, suppression, and potentially tolerance. Antigen enters the lymph node either from tissues via lymphatics, from blood via high endothelial venules, or directly via injection. Here we review different techniques and materials to deliver antigen to the lymph node including microparticles or nanoparticles, ex-vivo antigen presenting cell manipulation, and use of receptor conjugation for specific intralymph node targeting locations.

Summary

The promising results point to powerful techniques to harness the lymph node microenvironment and direct systemic immune regulation. The materials, techniques, and approaches suggest that translational and clinical trials in nonhuman primate and patients may soon be possible.

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