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Immunofluorescent characterization of non-myelinating Schwann cells and their interactions with immune cells in mouse mesenteric lymph node

Zhongli Shi, Wayne K. Greene, Philip K. Nicholls, Dailun Hu, Janina E.E. Tirnitz-Parker, Qionglan Yuan, Changfu Yin, Bin Ma
  • Zhongli Shi
    Hebei Medical University, China
  • Wayne K. Greene
    Murdoch University, Australia
  • Philip K. Nicholls
    Murdoch University, Australia
  • Dailun Hu
    Hebei Medical University, China
  • Janina E.E. Tirnitz-Parker
    Curtin University, Australia
  • Qionglan Yuan
    Tongji University, China
  • Changfu Yin
    Hebei Medical University, China


The central nervous system (CNS) influences the immune system in a general fashion by regulating the systemic concentration of humoral substances, whereas the autonomic nervous system communicates specifically with the immune system according to local interactions. Data concerning the mechanisms of this bidirectional crosstalk of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and immune system remain limited. To gain a better understanding of local interactions of the PNS and immune system, we have used immunofluorescent staining of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), coupled with confocal microscopy, to investigate the non-myelinating Schwann cell (NMSC)-immune cell interactions in mouse mesenteric lymph nodes. Our results demonstrate i) the presence of extensive NMSC processes and even of cell bodies in each compartment of the mouse mesenteric lymph node; ii) close associations/interactions of NMSC processes with blood vessels (including high endothelial venules) and the lymphatic vessel/sinus; iii) close contacts/associations of NMSC processes with various subsets of dendritic cells (such as CD4+CD11c+, CD8+CD11c+ dendritic cells), macrophages (F4/80+ and CD11b+ macrophages), and lymphocytes. Our novel findings concerning the distribution of NMSCs and NMSC-immune cell interactions inside the mouse lymph node should help to elucidate the mechanisms through which the PNS affects cellular- and humoral-mediated immune responses or vice versa in health and disease.


Non-myelinating Schwann cells (NMSC); macrophage; dendritic cell (DC); lymph node; immunofluorescent staining.

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Submitted: 2017-06-10 13:27:28
Published: 2017-08-07 09:25:42
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Copyright (c) 2017 Zhongli Shi, Wayne K. Greene, Philip K. Nicholls, Dailun Hu, Janina E.E. Tirnitz-Parker, Qionglan Yuan, Changfu Yin, Bin Ma

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