Stimulation by immune complexes of mucus release from goblet cells of the rat small intestine

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Science  22 Jul 1977:
Vol. 197, Issue 4301, pp. 370-372
DOI: 10.1126/science.877559


Immune complexes (bovine serum albumin with rat antibodies to bovine serum albumin) formed in twofold antibody excess were injected into the duodenum of normal rats. In comparison to controls injected with antigen only, there was a marked increase in the percentage of disrupted goblet cells (an index of mucus release) in segments from the intestine of rats exposed for 3 hours to immune complexes in vivo. Similarly, there was a significant increase in 35S-labeled mucus recovered by filtration of intestinal wash, rinse, and mucosal homogenate fluids from rats exposed to immune complexes compared to those from rats exposed to bovine serum albumin or purified rat antiserum to bovine serum albumin alone. These findings suggest that certain immune complexes can stimulate mucus release from intact rat small intestine; enhanced mucus release may have a role in clearing the surface of complexes.