Thy1+ IL-7+ lymphatic endothelial cells in iBALT provide a survival niche for memory T-helper cells in allergic airway inflammation

Kenta Shinoda, Kiyoshi Hirahara, Tomohisa Iinuma, Tomomi Ichikawa, Akane S. Suzuki, Kaoru Sugaya, Damon Tumes, Heizaburo Yamamoto, Takahiro Hara, Shizue Tani-Ichi, Koichi Ikuta, Yoshitaka Okamoto, Toshinori Nakayama

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Memory CD4+ T helper (Th) cells are central to long-term protection against pathogens, but they can also be pathogenic and drive chronic inflammatory disorders. How these pathogenic memory Th cells are maintained, particularly at sites of local inflammation, remains unclear. We found that ectopic lymphoid-like structures called inducible bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT) are formed during chronic allergic inflammation in the lung, and that memory-type pathogenic Th2 (Tpath2) cells capable of driving allergic inflammation are maintained within the iBALT structures. The maintenance of memory Th2 cells within iBALT is supported by Thy1+IL-7-producing lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). The Thy1+IL-7-producing LECs express IL-33 and T-cell-attracting chemokines CCL21 and CCL19. Moreover, ectopic lymphoid structures consisting of memory CD4+ T cells and IL-7+ IL-33+ LECs were found in nasal polyps of patients with eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis. Thus, Thy1+IL-7-producing LECs control chronic allergic airway inflammation by providing a survival niche for memory-type Tpath2 cells.

JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2016


  • Chronic rhinosinusitis
  • IL-7
  • Lymphatic endothelial cell
  • Pathogenic Th2 cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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