Automated histochemical analysis of cell populations in the intact follicle-associated epithelium of the mouse Peyer's patch

Histochem J. 1988 Aug;20(8):443-8. doi: 10.1007/BF01002430.


A new technique of quantitative histochemistry has been developed to study the cellular composition of the follicle-associated epithelium of the mouse Peyer's patch. This technique involves applying naphthol AS-BI phosphate to the surface of intact tissue where it is hydrolysed by alkaline phosphatase present in the luminal membrane of the epithelial cells. Naphthol AS-BI produced by this reaction is then coupled to Fast Red TR diazonium salt at the site of hydrolysis. M cells present in the epithelium contain little alkaline phosphatase activity and, therefore, remain white. Treatment with Alcian Blue is finally used to label goblet cells. Subsequent quantitative analysis of alkaline phosphatase-rich cells is carried out by scanning microdensitometry. Using this technique it is possible to detect two populations of alkaline phosphatase-containing cells in mice reared in a normal animal house environment. These results are discussed in relation to possible interactions taking place between enteric antigens and the gut-associated lymphoid tissue which could reduce the ability of follicle-associated enterocytes to express alkaline phosphatase.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / analysis
  • Animals
  • Digestive System / cytology
  • Digestive System / enzymology
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Epithelium / enzymology
  • Epithelium / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Lymphatic System / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Peyer's Patches / cytology*
  • Peyer's Patches / enzymology


  • Alkaline Phosphatase