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J Neuroimmunol. 2003 Aug;141(1-2):74-82.

Neuromodulation of enteropathogen internalization in Peyer's patches from porcine jejunum.

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Department of Veterinary PathoBiology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108-6010, USA.


Jejunal Peyer's patches (JPP) are innervated sites of immune induction and enteropathogen infection. We investigated the role of enteric nerves in modulating pathogen entry into porcine JPP. Presumptive norepinephrine (NE)-containing nerve fibers were localized in JPP domes and follicle-associated villi by secondary immunofluorescence histochemistry. NE or the neuronal conduction blocker saxitoxin increased intracellular internalization of pathogenic Salmonella choleraesuis and Escherichia coli O157:H7, but not nonpathogenic E. coli, into isolated JPP mucosa. NE action was prevented by the alpha-adrenergic antagonist phentolamine. Withdrawal of enteric neural activity or NE administration appears to modulate JPP interactions with pathogenic bacteria.

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