Immunology: Antigen-Presenting Cells in the Gut

Levi H.C. Makala, Yoshifumi Nishikawa, Naoyoshi Suzuki, Hideyuki Nagasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


It has been known for the past 85 years that mucosal responses can be stimulated by local presentation of antigen and that the gut immune system is capable of mounting both primary and secondary responses to potentially harmful antigens while avoiding the expression of damaging responses to harmless dietary proteins. How these types of responses are induced and regulated remains unclear. In the gut attention has for some time been focused on Peyer's patches (PP) due to evidence that they play a vital role in the induction of humoral and cellular responses. Moreover, it has been established that MHC class II molecules are found in the gut mucosa on a variety of cell types outside PP, namely the lamina propria (LP). Fed antigens have also been detected in the LP and studies have shown that LP cells can stimulate allogeneic mixed lymphocyte responses and are capable of presenting soluble protein antigen to naïve T cells. This article reviews the present understanding of the possible roles of PP and LP in intestinal immunity in terms of induction, regulation, surveillance of immune responses and the antigen presenting cell types involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 11 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen-presenting cell
  • Gut
  • Lamina propria
  • Mouse
  • Peyer's patch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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