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Comp Med. 2002 Oct;52(5):429-32.

Influence of bedding type on mucosal immune responses.

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  • 1The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Division Immunologic and Infectious Diseases, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The mucosal immune system interacts with the external environment. In the study reported here, we found that bedding materials can influence the intestinal immune responses of mice. We observed that mice housed on wood, compared with cotton bedding, had increased numbers of Peyer's patches (PP) visible under a dissecting microscope. In addition, culture of lymphoid organs revealed increased production of total and virus-specific IgA by PP and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) lymphocytes from mice housed on wood, compared with cotton bedding. However, bedding type did not influence serum virus-specific antibody responses. These observations indicate that bedding type influences the intestinal immune system and suggest that this issue should be considered by mucosal immunologists and personnel at animal care facilities.

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