Preferential Uptake of Soluble Antigen by Respiratory Tract Epithelium Overlying Bronchus-Associated Lymphoid Tissue in the Rat
Soluble protein antigen (Horseradish peroxidase — HRP) administered to rats intratracheally is predominantly phagocytosed by alveolar macrophages and Type-II pneumonocytes. A proportion, after localization on the lumenal surface of the bronchiolar epithelium is transported across the epithelium via the apical cytoplasm and the intercellular space to the region of the basement membrane. The rate of transfer is faster in the epithelium closer to areas of BALT than elsewhere and in these areas there is further significant penetration below the basement membrane into the BALT tissue to facilitate the contact of antigen and of lymphoid cells. No evidence of alveolar macrophage re-entry to the lymphatic system after phagocytosis of HRP could be seen.
KeywordsBasement Membrane Tight Junction Alveolar Macrophage Lymphoid Cell Soluble Antigen
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