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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1994 Oct;43(1-3):151-6.

The immune system of the respiratory tract in pigs.

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Medical School of Hannover, Germany.


Although the lung is not a lymphoid organ it contains large numbers of lymphocytes. These can be found in different compartments: (1) the pulmonary intravascular pool, which is organ-specific and shows a unique migration pattern; (2) the interstitial lymphocyte pool, which is equivalent in size to the whole blood pool; (3) the bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) which develops as a result of microbial stimulation; (4) the intraepithelial and lamina propria lymphocytes of the bronchi, with their typical subset composition; (5) the lymphocytes in the bronchoalveolar space, which can be sampled by bronchoalveolar lavage. The size and kinetics of the lymphocyte pools have been studied in the pig in more detail than in most other species. Despite this organotypic compartmentalisation of the pulmonary lymphoid cells in the pig, the lung is part of the integrated mucosal immune system, as shown by protective oral immunisation against the lung-pathogenic bacteria Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. The lung immune system in the pig is not only of veterinary interest, but also a relevant model for the human respiratory tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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