Monoclonal Antibodies Specific for Human and Rat Intestinal Lymphocytes
The nature of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) present within the intestinal epithelium is intriguing. They differ from the lymphocytes present in lymphoid organs or in the lamina propria (LP) by their pheno-typical characteristics. The majority express a surface marker associated with the cytotoxic/suppressor subset of T cells with a lesser number of cells coexpressing the pan T cell markers (1–7). In addition, 15 to 50% IEL contain intracytoplasmic granules rich in sulfated proteoglycans (8–10). The location of IEL in close contact with intraluminal antigens and epithelial cells suggests that they have an important function in local cell mediated immunity. In the mouse, it has been demonstrated that small subsets of IEL can exert some specific or non-specific cytotoxic functions (11–13). Yet, the function as well as the origin of the large subset of Thy-1, Lyt-2 granular IEL present in both normal and athymic mice remain unknown. Human intestinal IEL show many phenotypical similarities with rodents IEL (1, 4, 5, 7). Yet, the various subsets of human IEL have not been defined precisely and little is known regarding their functional capabilities (5, 10, 14). Because of the peculiarities of IEL, we assumed that IEL might possess specific membrane antigen(s) against which monoclonal antibodies (mab) could be raised.
KeywordsLamina Propria Lymphoid Follicle Peripheral Lymph Node Freeze Tissue Section Lymphoid Compartment
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