Organogenic Role of B Lymphocytes in Mucosal Immunity

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Science  03 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5446, pp. 1965-1968
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5446.1965

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Follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) in the intestinal Peyer's patches contains M cells that deliver pathogens to organized lymphoid tissue. Development of Peyer's patches, FAE, and M cells was found to be impaired in mice that had no B cells. Transgenic expression of membrane-bound immunoglobulin M restored B cells and FAE development. The lack of M cells abrogated infection with a milk-borne retrovirus. Thus, in addition to secretion of antibodies and presentation of antigens, B cells are important for organogenesis of the mucosal immune barriers.

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