Co-localization of vimentin and cytokeratins in M-cells of rabbit gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT)

Cell Tissue Res. 1992 Aug;269(2):331-40. doi: 10.1007/BF00319625.


The occurrence of cytokeratins, vimentin, and desmin in the dome epithelia and adjacent non-dome epithelia in four locations of gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) of adult and newborn rabbits (Peyer's patches, sacculus rotundus, caecal lymphoid patches and appendix) was studied with monoclonal antibodies, using the indirect immunoperoxidase technique. In all locations investigated in adult animals, antibodies specific for vimentin labelled (1) M-cells, which engulf intra-epithelial lymphocytes, (2) columnar epithelial cells at the base of the domes lacking an apparent contact with lymphocytes ("immature" M-cells), and (3) flat cells, which lie in the lamina propria under the dome epithelium, and which line the basal lamina with thin cytoplasmic processes. In newborn rabbits, columnar epithelial cells resembling the immature M-cells of adults were selectively stained with vimentin antibodies. In M-cells, the strongest immunoreactivity was present in the perinuclear region and close to the pocket membrane, whereas the most apical and most basal parts of the cytoplasm showed no vimentin-immunoreactivity. Enterocytes in the dome epithelium and in the non-dome epithelium were vimentin-negative. M-cells and enterocytes bound antibodies against cytokeratin peptides 18 and 19 in adult and newborn animals. Compared with enterocytes, M-cells showed less intense staining for cytokeratins. Dome epithelia and no-dome epithelia did not contain desmin-immunoreactive cells. The results suggest that vimentin is a sensitive marker for M-cells in rabbit GALT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Desmin / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Keratins / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Vimentin / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Desmin
  • Vimentin
  • Keratins