Subpopulations of Non-Lymphoid Cells in Bronchus Associated Lymphoid Tissue and Lung of the Mouse
Bronchus associated lymphoid tissue has been observed in lungs of a number of mammalian species and of chickens (1). It is characterized by a dense accumulation of lymphoid cells which are in contact with the bronchus epithelium. It occurs mainly along the main bronchi and is situated between a bronchus and an artery. The lymphocytes are located in discrete T and B cell areas and may migrate into the BALT by high endothelial venules (HEV), which are clearly present in the T cell areas (2–6). These data together indicate that the general composition of BALT resembles that of a predetermined lymphoid organ and that BALT is not a random accumulation of lymphocytes. The precise role BALT plays in the immunological defense mechanism of the lung, however, has yet to be determined. Studies on BALT have mainly been performed in larger rodents like rats and guinea pigs where BALT is relatively well developed. In mouse only circumstantial evidence for the presence of BALT has been given (7) and no systematic study on the morphology and function has been performed. This may be due to the fact that in mice BALT is rather inconspicious, probably also based on strain differences. Considering the existence of many markers for lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells in the mouse and the feasability of many experimental approaches in this species we studied murine BALT using immuriohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies against lymphocytes and non-lymphoid cells, in combination with enzyme histochemistry. Special attention was paid to the presence of macrophage subpopulations in BALT and surrounding lung tissue.
KeywordsAcid Phosphatase Alveolar Macrophage Cell Area Interstitial Tissue High Endothelial Venule
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