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Innervation and nerve-immune cell contacts in mouse Peyer's patches

Al-Shalan, H.A.M., Hu, D., Nicholls, P.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-7071-3055, Greene, W.K. and Ma, B. (2020) Innervation and nerve-immune cell contacts in mouse Peyer's patches. Histology and Histopathology, 35 (4). pp. 371-383.

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Neural regulation of the function of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) relies on a delicate balance of the two divisions of its nervous system, namely, the intrinsic and extrinsic divisions. The intrinsic innervation is provided by the enteric nervous system (ENS), whereas the extrinsic innervation includes sympathetic/parasympathetic nerve fibers and extrinsic sensory nerve fibers. In the present study, we used immunofluorescent staining of neurofilament-heavy (NF-H) to reveal the distribution of nerve fibers and their associations with immune cells inside mouse Peyer's patches (PP), an essential part of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). Our results demonstrate (1) the presence of an extensive meshwork of NF-H-immunoreactive presumptive nerve fibers in all PP compartments including the lymphoid nodules, interfollicular region, follicle-associated epithelium, and subepithelial dome; (2) close associations/contacts of nerve fibers with blood vessels including high endothelial venules, indicating neural control of blood flow and immune cell dynamics inside the PP; (3) close contacts between nerve fibers/endings and B/T cells and various subsets of dendritic cells ( e.g., B220-, B220+, CD4-, CD4+, CD8-, and CD8+). Our novel findings concerning PP innervation and nerve-immune-cell contacts in situ should facilitate our understanding of bi-directional communications between the PNS and GALT. Since the innervation of the gut, including PP, might be important in the pathogenesis and progression of some neurological, infectious, and autoimmune diseases, e.g., prion diseases and inflammatory bowel disease, better knowledge of PNS-immune system interactions in the GALT (including PP) should benefit the development of potential treatments for these diseases via neuroimmune manipulations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Histology and Histopathology
Copyright: © 2020, Histology and Histopathology.
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