Localization, Isolation and Histochemical Characterization of Macrophages in the Gut and Mesenteric Lymph Nodes of the Rat
Cells of the mononuclear phagocytic system occur widespread in the body(1). Among mononuclear phagocytes there consists a marked heterogeneity in morphology, enzyme contents, cell surface markers and function. This heterogeneity is related to the developmental stage of the individual cells, the state of activity of the cells and the microenvironment of the diverse tissues and organs (2, 3). Also in lymphoid organs a heterogeneous population of mononuclear phagocytes occurs (4, 5, 6). From numerous studies on these cells in bone marrow, blood and lymphoid organs it has become clear that in addition to the ‘classical’ macrophages — cells with the typical features of scavenger cells — a second population of cells (dendritic or interdigitating cells) exists (7). This latter population is highly efficient in presenting antigen to T cells but show a low phagocytic activity (8). Besides the large population of these mobile mononuclear phagocytes, which are present in all compartments of lymphoid organs, the germinal centre of lymphoid follicles is characterized by a population of ‘fixed’ non-lymphoid cells, the follicular dendritic cells (6). These cells bind and retain antigen-antibody complexes on their extensive cell processes (9).
KeywordsLymphoid Organ Mesenteric Lymph Node Mononuclear Phagocyte Follicular Dendritic Cell Popliteal Lymph Node
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