M-cells are believed to play a pivotal role in initiation of the immune response. These cells, located in the epithelia that overlie mucosal lymphoid follicles, are responsible for the active uptake of particulate antigens and for their translocation to the underlying lymphoid tissue. The identification of reliable markers for M-cells is therefore extremely important for the study of the initial steps that lead to the immune response. For this purpose, we studied cytokeratin 20 (CK20) expression in the epithelium of rabbit palatine tonsils by immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, and Western blotting. CK20+ cells were observed in all rabbit palatine tonsils examined. By Western blotting, one CK20-immunoreactive band was identified at 46 kD on samples of proteins from the intermediate filament-enriched cytoskeletal fraction of tonsil epithelium. Double labeling of CK20+ cells with cell-specific markers confirmed that such cells were actually M-cells. Moreover, CK20+ M-cells displayed a mature phenotype (they formed pockets harboring lymphoid cells) and were functionally competent because they could take up particulate antigens from the pharyngeal lumen. We conclude that CK20 is an M-cell marker for rabbit palatine tonsils. Moreover, we can hypothesize the use of M-cells as a possible site for antigen delivery of particle-based vaccines.
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|Titolo:||Rabbit tonsil-associated M-cells express cytokeratin 20 and take up particulate antigen|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|