Open Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 37, Number 3, May-June 2006
Mucosal immunology in domestic animals
Page(s) 339 - 358
Published online 09 March 2006
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2006) 339-358
Vet. Res. 37 (2006) 339-358
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006005

Antigen presenting cells in mucosal sites of veterinary species

Karin Haversona and Sabine Riffaultb

a  Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
b  INRA, Unité de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, Jouy-en-Josas, France

(Received 28 April 2005; accepted 15 September 2005; published online 9 March 2006)

Abstract - The ability of antigen presenting cells, in particular dendritic cells, to integrate a variety of environmental signals, together with their ability to respond appropriately by initiating either tolerance or defensive immune responses make them cells of particular relevance and importance in the mucosal environment. They have been demonstrated in a variety of mucosal tissues in veterinary species and have been characterized to varying degrees, showing that fundamental immunological principles apply throughout all species, but also highlighting some species differences. A major advantage of carrying out immunological research in veterinary species is their size: it is possible to cannulate lymphatic ducts and obtain information about cell migration between different tissues. It is also possible to obtain pure populations of relatively rare cell types such as the plasmacytoid dendritic cells or mucosal dendritic cells ex vivo for the study of immune responses to diseases in their natural host and for other thorough functional studies. Two major myeloid antigen presenting cell (APC) (dendritic cells, DC) cell populations have been described in gut draining lymph and other mucosal sites in ruminants and pigs, characterised by the presence or absence of surface molecules, their enzyme profiles, their ability to phagocytose and their different potential as APC. There is evidence that one of these subsets has migrated from the diffuse mucosal tissue, where it is found as a phagocytic as well as stimulatory APC population, which in turn may be derived from blood macrophages. In addition, the presence and role in viral infection of the IFN-$\alpha$ producing plasmacytoid DC in mucosal tissue is discussed, based on studies in pigs.

Key words: dendritic cells / plasmacytoid dendritic cells / macrophages

Corresponding author: Karin Haverson

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006