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J Immunol. 2002 Jan 1;168(1):57-64.

Identification of multiple isolated lymphoid follicles on the antimesenteric wall of the mouse small intestine.

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Department of Microbiology, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan.


We have revealed that 100-200 clusters, filled with closely packed lymphocytes, can be found throughout the length of the antimesenteric wall of the mouse small intestine. They are composed of a large B cell area, including a germinal center, and epithelia overlying the clusters contain M cells. A large fraction of B cells displays B220+ CD19+ CD23+ IgM(low)IgD(high)CD5(-)Mac-1(-) phenotype, and the composition of IgA+ B cells is smaller but substantial. To our knowledge, these clusters are the first identification of isolated lymphoid follicles (ILF) in mouse small intestine. ILF can be first detected at 7 (BALB/c mice) and 25 (C57BL/6 mice) days after birth, and lymphoid clusters equivalent in terms of cellular mass to ILF are present in germfree, athymic nude, RAG-2(-/-), TCR-beta(-/-), and Ig mu-chain mutant (mu(-/-)) mice, although c-kit+ cells outnumber B220+ cells in germfree and athymic nude mice, and most lymphoid residents are c-kit+ B220(-) in RAG-2(-/-), TCR-beta(-/-), and mu(-/-) mice. ILF develop normally in the progeny of transplacentally manipulated Peyer's patch (PP)-deficient mice, and decreased numbers of conspicuously atrophied ILF are present in IL-7Ralpha(-/-) PP(null) mice. Neither ILF nor PP are detectable in lymphotoxin alpha(-/-) and aly/aly mice that retain well-developed cryptopatches (CP) and thymus-independent subsets of intraepithelial T cells, whereas ILF, PP, CP, and thymus-independent subsets of intraepithelial T cells disappear from common cytokine receptor gamma-chain mutant mice. These findings indicate that ILF, PP, and CP constitute three distinct organized gut-associated lymphoid tissues that reside in the lamina propria of the mouse small intestine.

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