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J Immunol. 2004 Mar 1;172(5):3026-33.

Targeting of secretory IgA to Peyer's patch dendritic and T cells after transport by intestinal M cells.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Recherche et Développement, du Service d'Immunologie et d'Allergie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland.


In addition to being instrumental to the protection of mucosal epithelia, secretory IgA (SIgA) adheres to and is transported by intestinal Peyer's patch (PP) M cells. The possible functional reason for this transport is unknown. We have thus examined in mice the outcome of SIgA delivered from the intestinal lumen to the cells present in the underlying organized mucosa-associated lymphoreticular tissue. We show selective association of SIgA with dendritic cells and CD4(+) T and B lymphocytes recovered from PP in vitro. In vivo, exogenously delivered SIgA is able to enter into multiple PP lining the intestine. In PP, SIgA associates with and is internalized by dendritic cells in the subepithelial dome region, whereas the interaction with CD4(+) T cells is limited to surface binding. Interaction between cells and SIgA is mediated by the IgA moiety and occurs for polymeric and monomeric molecular forms. Thus, although immune exclusion represents the main function of SIgA, transport of the Ab by M cells might promote Ag sampling under neutralizing conditions essential to the homeostasis of mucosal surfaces.

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