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In the paracortex of lymph nodes, cellular immune responses are generated against antigens captured in peripheral tissues by dendritic cells (DCs). DC-SIGN (dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin), a C-type lectin exclusively expressed by DCs, functions as an antigen receptor as well as an adhesion receptor. A functional homologue of DC-SIGN, L-SIGN (liver/lymph node-SIGN, also called DC-SIGN-related), is expressed by liver sinus endothelial cells. In lymph nodes, both DC-SIGN and L-SIGN are expressed. In this study, we analyzed the distribution of these two SIGN molecules in detail in both normal and immunoreactive lymph nodes. DC-SIGN is expressed by mature DCs in paracortical areas and in addition by DCs with an immature phenotype in the outer zones of the paracortex. L-SIGN expression was also detected in the outer zones on sinus endothelial cells characterized by their expression of the lymphatic endothelial markers LYVE-1 and CLEVER-1. During both cellular and humoral immune responses changes in the amount of DC-SIGN+ immature and mature DCs and L-SIGN+ endothelial cells were observed, indicating that the influx or proliferation of these cells is dynamically regulated.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Pathol

Publication Date





1587 - 1595


Antigens, CD, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Cell Division, Dendritic Cells, Endothelium, Vascular, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Integrins, K562 Cells, Lectins, Lectins, C-Type, Liver, Lymph Nodes, Lymphatic Metastasis, Phenotype, Receptors, Cell Surface, Tissue Distribution