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J Virol. 2001 Jun;75(11):5416-20.

Nasal-associated lymphoid tissue is a site of long-term virus-specific antibody production following respiratory virus infection of mice.

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The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, United Kingdom.


Nasal immunoglobulin A provides an initial defense against inhaled respiratory pathogens. However, it is not known whether the nasal-associated lymphoid tissues (NALT) are able to mount an effective long-lasting pathogen-specific immune response, nor is it known whether functional differences exist between the organized NALT (O-NALT) and the diffuse NALT lining the nasal passages (D-NALT). Here we show that although both the O-NALT and the D-NALT are capable of producing virus-specific antibody in response to influenza virus infection, the frequency of specific antibody-forming cells in the D-NALT is much greater than the frequency observed in the O-NALT. Furthermore, we show that the D-NALT but not the O-NALT is the site of long-term virus-specific humoral immunity which lasts for the life of the animal. These results indicate that the D-NALT is not only the major effector site of the NALT but also the site of local long-term specific antibody production.

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