Phenotypically distinct subpopulations of T cells in domes and M-cell pockets of rabbit gut-associated lymphoid tissues

Immunology. 1990 Dec;71(4):530-7.


Follicle epithelium and domes of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) contain populations of lymphocytes which first contact antigen taken up from the intestine. In order to study the association of lymphocytes with M cells in follicle epithelium, monoclonal antibodies (mAb) were generated by immunizing BALB/c mice with lymphocytes populating GALT domes from NZW rabbits, and their specificity was assessed by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. mAb 3C10 (IgM) and 3B6 (IgG3) recognized subpopulations of intraepithelial lymphocytes associated with M cells. mAb 3C10 also identified macrophage-lymphocyte clusters in domes and tangible body macrophages in germinal centres of GALT but did not react with cells in T-dependent areas (TDA) or B cells in follicles. mAb 3B6 recognized lymphocytes in domes and B cells in follicles but not T cells in TDA of GALT. The distribution of 3B6+ cells overlapped with, but was more restricted than, that of Ia+ cells. Analysis of lymphocytes in follicle epithelium showed that greater than 95% of lymphocytes associated with M cells were Ia+. T cells represented approximately 95% of intraepithelial lymphocytes in the appendix and approximately 65% in Peyer's patches. A majority of intraepithelial lymphocytes was recognized by mAb 3B6, but mAb 3C10 identified only approximately 30%. Because neither 3C10 nor 3B6 recognized lymphocytes in TDA of GALT, these results indicate that most lymphocytes associated with M cells are a distinct phenotype of Ia+ T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Appendix / immunology*
  • Cell Separation
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology*
  • Rabbits
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II