Peyer's patches (PPs) simultaneously initiate active and quiescent immune responses in the gut. The immunological function is achieved by the rigid regulation of cell distribution and trafficking, but how the cell distribution is maintained remains to be elucidated. In this study, we show that binding of stromal cell-derived lymphoid chemokines to conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) is essential for the retention of naive CD4+ T cells in the interfollicular region (IFR) of PPs. Transitory depletion of CD11c high cDCs in mice rapidly impaired the IFR structure in the PPs without affecting B cell follicles or germinal centers, lymphoid chemokine production from stromal cells, or the immigration of naive T cells into the IFRs of PPs. The cDC-orchestrated retention of naive T cells was mediated by heparinase-sensitive molecules that were expressed on cDCs and bound the lymphoid chemokine CCL21 produced from stromal cells. These data collectively reveal that interactions among cDCs, stromal cells, and naive T cells are necessary for the formation of IFRs in the PPs.
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