Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Expression of junction-associated proteins differentiates mouse intestinal M cells from enterocytes

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Barry Hirst


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


The intestinal lymphoid follicles and associated structures are specialised antigen sampling and inductive sites of the mucosal immune system. The overlying follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) includes the specialised antigen sampling M cells that are also exploited as a route of pathogen invasion. In this immunohistochemical study we analysed the junctional complexes of the mouse intestinal FAE. Protein expression at this site resembled that of other simple epithelia. Specifically, claudin-1/3 and ZO-1 were detected in the tight junctions, E-cadherin, alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin, vinculin, alpha-actinin and polymerised actin were associated with the adherens junctions and the desmosomes were labelled with a desmosomal protein probe. These markers failed to reveal cell type-associated variations in the tight junctions and desmosomes. In contrast, M cell adherens junctions were distinguished by enhanced expression of beta-catenin, alpha-actinin, polymerised actin and, in some areas, E-cadherin. In addition, M cell junctions exhibited increased expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and phosphotyrosine, and the M cell apical surfaces displayed characteristic patterns of beta-catenin, alpha-actinin and actin expression. We have thus partially defined the junctional complexes of mouse intestinal FAE and identified M cell-specific characteristics that may further explain the biology and function of this unique cell type.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hirst BH; Clark AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Histochemistry and Cell Biology

Year: 2002

Volume: 118

Issue: 2

Pages: 137-147

ISSN (print): 0948-6143

ISSN (electronic): 1432-119X

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00418-002-0433-z


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric