The mucosal immune forms the largest part of the entire immune system and protects the body from pathogens and foreign particles by secreting the antibody Immunoglobin A (IgA).
Specialized cells called microfold cells (M cells) capture and deliver foreign particles through the epithelial layer to lymphoid structures deeper in the intestinal tissue. This triggers the secretion of the antibodies.
Although this transport process is crucial researchers have struggled to understand it fully due to the relative sparseness of M cells and a lack of a unique marker to identify them.
mice, GP2 specifically binds to bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella by recognizing a component of hairlike structures on the bacterial cell surface.
This first description of the pathway fills a key gap in our understanding of mucosal immune responses. As a target for the development of new oral vaccines, GP2 also offers the hope of an easy-to-administer, cost-effective solution for infectious diseases and allergies.
For more information, please contact:Dr. Hiroshi Ohno
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