Human intestinal B-cell blasts and plasma cells express the mucosal homing receptor integrin alpha 4 beta 7

Scand J Immunol. 1995 Dec;42(6):662-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1995.tb03709.x.


Interactions between homing receptors on circulating leucocytes and endothelial addressins regulate tissue-specific cellular extravasation. Although integrin alpha 4 beta 7 appears to be the main receptor for gut-homing T lymphocytes, less is known about molecules mediating mucosal B cell homing. Expression of integrin alpha 4 beta 7 on B lymphocytes, B cell blasts, and plasma cells in human gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT; the Peyer's patches and appendix) and lamina propria was studied by multi-colour immunofluorescence applied on cryosections. Isolated mononuclear cells from the same tissue compartments were examined by flow cytometry and compared with peripheral blood B cells. Integrin alpha 4 beta 7 was expressed by IgA+ B cell blasts and plasma cells (CD38high) in the lamina propria, B cell blasts in GALT, and sIgD+ B lymphocytes in peripheral blood. In contrast, GALT sIgD+ B lymphocytes were negative or only weakly positive for alpha 4 beta 7. These results suggested that B lymphocytes down-regulate alpha 4 beta 7 upon extravasation in GALT but up-regulate this integrin after antigen-priming. Thus, alpha 4 beta 7 may be a homing receptor also for B cell blasts extravasating in the gut lamina propria, where this integrin is maintained on plasma cells, perhaps as a local retention factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD*
  • Antigens, Differentiation / biosynthesis
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Ileum / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A / biosynthesis
  • Integrins / biosynthesis*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Jejunum / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases / biosynthesis
  • Plasma Cells / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / biosynthesis*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Integrins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • integrin alpha4beta7
  • N-Glycosyl Hydrolases
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase
  • CD38 protein, human
  • ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1