Fibroblastic reticular cell response to dendritic cells requires coordinated activity of podoplanin, CD44 and CD9

Charlotte M. de Winde*, Spyridon Makris, Lindsey J. Millward, Jesús A. Cantoral-Rebordinos, Agnesska C. Benjamin, V. ćtor G. Martínez, Sophie E. Acton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In adaptive immunity, CLEC-2+ dendritic cells (DCs) contact fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) inhibiting podoplanin-dependent actomyosin contractility, permitting FRC spreading and lymph node expansion. The molecular mechanisms controlling lymph node remodelling are incompletely understood. We asked how podoplanin is regulated on FRCs in the early phase of lymph node expansion, and which other proteins are required for the FRC response to DCs. We find that podoplanin and its partner proteins CD44 and CD9 are differentially expressed by specific lymph node stromal populations in vivo, and their expression in FRCs is coregulated by CLEC-2 (encoded by CLEC1B). Both CD44 and CD9 suppress podoplanin-dependent contractility. We find that beyond contractility, podoplanin is required for FRC polarity and alignment. Independently of podoplanin, CD44 and CD9 affect FRC-FRC interactions. Furthermore, our data show that remodelling of the FRC cytoskeleton in response to DCs is a two-step process requiring podoplanin partner proteins CD44 and CD9. Firstly, CLEC-2 and podoplanin binding inhibits FRC contractility, and, secondly, FRCs form protrusions and spread, which requires both CD44 and CD9. Together, we show a multi-faceted FRC response to DCs, which requires CD44 and CD9 in addition to podoplanin.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberjcs258610
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

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