Ulex europaeus 1 lectin targets microspheres to mouse Peyer's patch M-cells in vivo

Vaccine. 1998 Mar;16(5):536-41. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(97)00222-3.


The interaction of latex microspheres with mouse Peyer's patch membranous M-cells was studied in a mouse gut loop model after the microspheres were coated with a variety of agents. Carboxylated microspheres (diameter 0.5 micron) were covalently coated with lectins Ulex europaeus 1, Concanavalin A, Euonymus europaeus and Bandeiraea simplicifolia 1 isolectin-B4, human immunoglobulin A or bovine serum albumin. Of the treatments examined, only Ulex europaeus (UEA1) resulted in significant selective binding of microspheres to M-cells. UEA1-coated microspheres bound to M-cells at a level 100-fold greater than BSA-coated microspheres, but binding to enterocytes was unaffected. Incubation of UEA1-coated microspheres with alpha-L-fucose reduced M-cell binding to a level comparable with BSA-coated microspheres. This indicated that targeting by UEA1 was via a carbohydrate receptor on the M-cell surface. Adherence of UEA1-coated microspheres to M-cells occurred within 10 min of inoculation into mouse gut loops and UEA1-coated microspheres were transported to 10 microns below the apical surface of M-cells within 60 min of inoculation. UEA1-coated microspheres also targeted mouse Peyer's patch M-cells after intragastric administration. These results demonstrated that altering the surface chemistry of carboxylated polystyrene microspheres increased M-cell targeting, suggesting a strategy to enhance delivery of vaccine antigens to the mucosal immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Concanavalin A
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Lectins*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microspheres
  • Peyer's Patches / cytology*
  • Plant Lectins*
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Lectins
  • Plant Lectins
  • Ulex europaeus lectins
  • Concanavalin A
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine