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Tissue-specific Differences in Immune Cell Subsets Located in the Naso-oropharyngeal-associated Lymphoid Tissues

Journal article
Authors Maria Bankvall
Mats Jontell
Agnes E Wold
Sofia M Östman
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Immunology
Volume 87
Issue 1
Pages 15-27
ISSN 0300-9475
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Odontology, Section 1
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 15-27
Language en
Keywords mucosal vascular addressin, dendritic cells, oral tolerance, peyers-patches, induction, nodes, nalt, nomenclature, responses, absence, Immunology
Subject categories Immunology in the medical area, Immunology


Defining the immune cells within the naso-oropharyngeal-associated lymphoid tissues would promote the development of efficient orally and nasally delivered immunotherapies. The aim was to compare murine antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and T cell subsets in the nose-associated lymphoid tissues (NALT), cervical lymph nodes (CLN), mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and peripheral lymph nodes (PLN) using flow cytometry and in vitro proliferation assays. Overall, the NALT contained a higher proportion of APCs and a lower proportion of T cells compared to the CLN, MLN and PLN. The APCs of the NALT more often belonged to the CD11c(+)CD11b(+) and the CD11c(neg)CD11b(+) subsets as compared to the other sites. Both of these APC populations showed little sign of activation, that is low expression of the markers CD40, CD86 and IAd. Instead, the APCs of the NALT more often co-expressed CX3CR1 and CD206, markers associated with a tolerogenic function. No increase in the proportion of regulatory T cells was observed in the NALT. Instead, the T cells frequently exhibited a memory/effector phenotype, expressing the homing markers 47, CCR4 and CCR9, but rarely the naive phenotype cell surface marker CD45RB. In contrast, the T cells at the other sites were mostly of the naive phenotype. In addition, cells from the NALT did not proliferate upon in vitro stimulation with Con A, whereas the cells from the other sites did. Taken together, these results suggest that the NALT is primarily an effector site rather than one for activation and differentiation, despite it being regarded as a site of induction.

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