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Int J Gynecol Pathol. 1986;5(1):11-22.

Lymphoid tissue of the normal fallopian tube--a form of mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)?

Abstract

Mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is a specialized form of peripheral lymphoid tissue which is found in mucosal surfaces directly or indirectly exposed to the environment. Using immunohistological labeling techniques and electron microscopy, we have explored the possibility that MALT exists in the normal fallopian tube. Immunohistological analysis has demonstrated a striking degree of uniformity in the phenotype of intraepithelial lymphocytes with a predominance of T-lymphocytes of T-cytotoxic/suppressor subtype. Occasional intraepithelial macrophages are also present, but B-cells, T-helper cells, and natural killer cells are absent or are rarely found in the epithelium. Electron microscopy has provided morphological evidence of an interaction between epithelial cells and intraepithelial lymphocytes. The opposing plasma membranes of these two cell types are arranged in the form of complex interdigitations and laminations. These striking arrangements substantially increase the total area of contact between the two cell types. We conclude that MALT does exist in the fallopian tube and that epithelial cells form an integral part of the system. A hypothetical view of the relationship between these cell types is presented.

PMID:
3957550
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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