Mechanisms of B and T lymphocyte accumulation in tumor-draining lymph nodes
Habenicht, Lauren Maj
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Tumor-draining lymph nodes (TDLNs) often enlarge in human cancer patients and in murine tumor models, due to lymphocyte accumulation and lymphatic sinus growth. B lymphocytes within TDLNs can drive lymph node hypertrophy in response to tumor growth, however little is known about the mechanisms directing the preferential accumulation of B lymphocytes relative to T cells in enlarging TDLNs. To define why B and T lymphocytes accumulate in TDLNs, we quantified lymphocyte proliferation, apoptosis, entry, and exit in TDLNs versus contralateral non-TDLNs (NTDLNs) in a footpad B16-F10 melanoma mouse model. B and T lymphocyte proliferation and apoptosis were increased as the TDLNs enlarged, although relative rates were similar to those of NTDLNs. TDLN entry of B and T lymphocytes via high endothelial venules was also modestly increased in enlarged TDLNs. Strikingly, the egress of B cells was strongly reduced in TDLNs versus NTDLNs, while T cell egress was modestly decreased, indicating that regulation of lymphocyte exit from TDLNs is a major mechanism of preferential B lymphocyte accumulation. Surface sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) which binds S1P and signals lymphocyte egress, exhibited greater down-regulation in B relative to T lymphocytes, consistent with preferential retention of B lymphocytes in TDLNs. TDLN lymphocytes did not activate surface CD69 expression, indicating a CD69-independent mechanism of down-regulation of S1PR1. B and T cell trafficking via afferent lymphatics to enter TDLNs also increased, suggesting a pathway for accumulation of tumor-educated lymphocytes in TDLNs. These mechanisms regulating TDLN hypertrophy could provide new targets to manipulate lymphocyte responses to cancer.