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J Immunol Methods. 1997 Mar 28;202(2):123-31.

Isolation and characterization of mouse nasal-associated lymphoid tissue.

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Department of Pathology, National Institute of Health, Tokyo, Japan.


A method for isolation of mouse nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT), which is a principal mucosal lymphoid tissue of the respiratory tract in rodents, was developed. The paired lymphoid organs could be separated from the upper jaw by peeling away the palate where NALT was localized bilaterally on the posterior side. About 3 x 10(5) lymphocytes could be obtained from one NALT fragment. The NALT lymphocyte fraction from normal BALB/c mice contained T- and B-cells in about equal numbers, and contained about 4 times as many CD4+ T-cells as CD8+ T-cells when analyzed with a FACScan fluorescence analyzer. The composition of the NALT lymphocytes was similar to that of the lymphocytes from the portion of the nasal cavity remaining after isolation of the NALT. The NALT lymphocyte fraction from mice infected 7 days previously with influenza virus was also characterized. The numbers of NALT T- and B-cells from the infected mice were approximately 2 and 3 times higher than those of non-infected mice, respectively. In parallel with the cell increase, NALT lymphocytes produced IFN-gamma when cultured for 24 h and contained cells secreting influenza virus-specific IgA and IgG antibodies. The results suggest that this method can be successfully used for investigating cellular dynamics of mucosal immunology in the upper respiratory tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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