Accumulation of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes in association with lack of polymeric immunoglobulin receptor

Ken Ichi Yamazaki, Shin Ichiro Shimada, Noriko Kato-Nagaoka, Hiroyuki Soga, Tsunetoshi Itoh, Masanobu Nanno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is transported by the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) through epithelial cells of the gut, the airways, the tear and salivary glands, and the lactating mammary gland, and IgA accumulates in serum and the intestinal lamina propria of pIgR-deficient (pIgR-/-) mice. Intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) increased in number and Thy-1+CD8αβ+TCRαβ + IEL preferentially expanded in the small intestine (SI) of pIgR-/- mice. Cytotoxic activity of SI-IEL was comparable in pIgR+/+ and pIgR-/- mice. Accumulation and cytotoxic activity of SI-IEL was attenuated in germ-free pIgR-/- mice. Furthermore, Thy-1+CD8αβ+ IEL did not expand in pIgR-/-TCRβδ-/- mice compared with TCRβδ-/- mice, and SI-IEL from pIgR-/-TCRβδ-/- mice as well as TCRβδ-/- mice expressed perforin and granzyme B mRNA and serine esterase. The proliferative status of SI-IEL from pIgR+/+ and pIgR-/- mice was similar, but adoptive transfer experiment showed that SI-IEL from pIgR-/- mice might have a stronger tendency to migrate into the intestinal epithelia than those from pIgR+/+ mice. These results demonstrate that the accumulation of Thy-1+CD8αβ +TCRαβ+ IEL in pIgR-/- mice triggered by intestinal microorganisms needed the expression of functional TCR and might be caused by lymphocyte migration into the intestinal epithelia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1219
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Apr 1


  • Cytotoxic activity
  • IEL
  • Intestinal microorganism
  • TCR
  • pIgR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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