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Paracortical Region
Lymphoid System

Paracortical Region


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Quick Facts

The paracortical region is any of the areas of the peripheral lymphoid organs populated by T lymphocytes, e.g., the periarteriolar lymphatic sheath in the spleen, the paracortex in lymph nodes, and the parafollicular areas of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (Dorland, 2011).

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The paracortical region (or paracortex) is a homogenous zone that contains T lymphocytes and interdigitating dendritic cells. Dendritic cells present processed antigens to the T-cells. When stimulated, the T-cells proliferate and enlarge, thus expanding the paracortical region greatly, but do not produce follicular structures such as those in the cortex. The matured T-cells are dispersed to peripheral sites (Willard-Mack, 2006).

Anatomical Relations

The paracortex is an ill-defined zone located between the cortex and the medulla.


In the paracortex, T-cells proliferate and enlarge when exposed to antigens.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Willard-Mack, C. L. (2006) 'Normal structure, function, and histology of lymph nodes', Toxicologic Pathology, 5(34), pp. 409-424.

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