Terminology: nomenclature of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue

Mucosal Immunol. 2008 Jan;1(1):31-7. doi: 10.1038/mi.2007.9.


Stimulation of mucosal immunity has great potential in vaccinology and immunotherapy. However, the mucosal immune system is more complex than the systemic counterpart, both in terms of anatomy (inductive and effector tissues) and effectors (cells and molecules). Therefore, immunologists entering this field need a precise terminology as a crucial means of communication. Abbreviations for mucosal immune-function molecules related to the secretory immunoglobulin A system were defined by the Society for Mucosal Immunolgy Nomenclature Committee in 1997, and are briefly recapitulated in this article. In addition, we recommend and justify standard nomenclature and abbreviations for discrete mucosal immune-cell compartments, belonging to, and beyond, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Mucous Membrane / anatomy & histology
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology*
  • Terminology as Topic*


  • Immunoglobulin A