Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Cell proliferation around weaning in piglets

Lymphocyte populations in the intestinal mucosa are inducer and effector cells for the mucosal immune response. The aim of the studies was to follow the lymphocyte kinetics in the period around weaning. The experimental approach was the labelling of all cells in the S-phase of the cell cycle using the thymidine analogue bromodesoxyuridine (BrdU). BrdU can be detected by immunohistochemistry. Using a double labelling system proliferating cells and their phenotype can be analysed. 30 minutes before sampling piglets received a single intravenous dose of BrdU (5 mg/kg body weight).

Thus all cells in the S-phase of the cell cycle were labelled. The sections were evaluated qualitatively. In all gut locations studied (jejunum, jejunal Peyer's patches, ileum, colon) proliferating CD3, CD4 and CD8 T cells were detected. The frequency of proliferating T cells was higher in the lamina propria of the mucosa. In the T cell areas of the Peyer's patches many proliferating T cells were detected. There was no difference in piglets that had received different diets. Highly fermentable carbohydrates caused a remarkable change of the intestinal flora, however the cell proliferation within the mucosa of these piglets was not affected by the changes in the intestinal lumen. In summary, the mucosal lymphocyte populations are regulated by immigration and as these results demonstrate by a local proliferation.

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