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Blood. 2000 Aug 15;96(4):1538-44.

Peyer's patch eosinophils: identification, characterization, and regulation by mucosal allergen exposure, interleukin-5, and eotaxin.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


The gastrointestinal immune system is traditionally thought to be composed of lymphocytes located within Peyer's patches and the lamina propria. We have recently reported that eosinophils also reside in the gastrointestinal tract during healthy states, in particular, within the lamina propria, and that these cells substantially increase after oral allergen exposure. We now demonstrate the presence of eosinophils in Peyer's patches and characterize the signals that regulate the accumulation of eosinophils in Peyer's patches. In contrast to the lamina propria, intestinal Peyer's patches have very low levels of eosinophils under healthy states. However, elevated levels of interleukin-5 (IL-5), generated by transgenic or pharmacologic approaches, result in a dramatic increase in eosinophil levels in Peyer's patches. Most eosinophils are located in the outer cortex and interfollicular regions of the Peyer's patches. To dissect the mechanism of eosinophil trafficking to Peyer's patches, the role of eotaxin was examined. Mice transgenic for IL-5 and genetically deficient in eotaxin were found to have reduced levels of eosinophils in Peyer's patches compared with IL-5-transgenic mice. To prove that eosinophils also traffic to Peyer's patches in wild-type mice, allergic hypersensitivity was induced and Peyer's patches were examined. Exposure to mucosal allergen promoted marked accumulation of eosinophils in Peyer's patches and this process was attenuated in eotaxin-deficient mice. In summary, these data demonstrate that elevated levels of IL-5 and mucosal allergen exposure promote eotaxin-dependent eosinophil trafficking to Peyer's patches. These studies suggest that eosinophils may cooperate with lymphocytes in the development of mucosal immune responses in the gastrointestinal tract. (Blood. 2000;96:1538-1544)

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