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Histochem Cell Biol. 1996 Jun;105(6):459-65.

Lectin binding reveals divergent carbohydrate expression in human and mouse Peyer's patches.

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University of Southampton, UK.


The nature of cell-associated carbohydrates in the human intestine that may mediate transepithelial transport of bacterial and dietary lectins and their processing by the lymphoid cells of Peyer's patches is not known. Because the cell surface carbohydrate receptors for lectins may vary in different species, the glycoconjugates of human and mouse follicle-associated epithelium and gut-associated lymphoid tissue were compared. A panel of 27, mainly recently isolated, lectins were used to identify glycoconjugate expression in M-cells, enterocytes, goblet cells, lymphocytes and macrophages in mouse and human intestine. Mouse M-cells were exclusively labelled by fucose-specific lectins but in human follicle-associated epithelium no distinct M-cell staining pattern was observed. In the human Peyer's patches, Bryonia dioica lectin bound selectively to paracortical T-lymphocytes and Chelidonium majus lectin to germinal centre B-cells. Certain mannose-specific lectins (Galanthus nivalis, Hippeastrum hybrid) stained the tingible body macrophages in the germinal centre of human Peyer's patches but labelled the macrophages in the paracortical T-cell region of the mouse. The results indicate distinct differences in glycosylation between mouse and human Peyer's patches and their associated lymphoid cells. When considering cell surface glycoconjugates as target molecules for the gut immune system, care has to be taken to choose the appropriate lectin for each species.

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