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J Immunol. 2001 Apr 15;166(8):4843-52.

The role of dendritic cells, B cells, and M cells in gut-oriented immune responses.

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  • 1Ghost Lab, Section on T-Cell Tolerance and Memory, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Although induction of T cell responses to fed Ag (oral tolerance) is thought to happen within the organized lymphoid tissue of the gut, we found that mice lacking Peyer's patches, B cells, and the specialized Ag-handling M cells had no defect in the induction of T cell responses to fed Ag, whether assayed in vitro by T cell proliferation or cytokine production, or in vivo by delayed-type hypersensitivity or bystander suppression against mycobacterial Ags in CFA. Feeding of Ag had a major influence on dendritic cells from fed wild-type or muMT mice, such that these APCs were able to elicit a different class of response from naive T cells in vitro. These results suggest that systemic immune responses to soluble oral Ags do not require an organized gut-associated lymphoid tissue but are most likely induced by gut-conditioned dendritic cells that function both to initiate the gut-oriented response and to impart the characteristic features that discriminate it from responses induced parenterally.

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