Flow cytometric analysis of the lymphocyte population of the gut could provide useful information on the immune cells present in the gut that would not be easily obtained in tissue sections. However, little is known of the normal lymphocyte population in the canine gut as determined by flow cytometry, which allows for simultaneous staining of multiple cell surface antigens and identification of specific lymphocytic subsets. Therefore, intraepithelial lymphocytes were obtained from biopsies of the healthy canine proximal small intestine and colon taken with an endoscope, and flow cytometric analysis was used to characterize the lymphocyte subsets present. Endoscopic biopsy of the intestine is a minimally invasive technique commonly used for diagnostic purposes.Although CD3+ lymphocytes were the most abundant subset in both colon and small intestine, CD3+/CD8- lymphocytes predominated in the proximal small intestine, whereas CD3+/CD8+ lymphocytes did in the colon. Canine CD8+ intraepithelial lymphocytes were predominantly CD8αβ+ in both small intestine and colon. CD4+ intraepithelial lymphocytes were always much less numerous than CD8+ intraepithelial lymphocytes. As in man, a majority of intraepithelial lymphocytes expressed the T-cell receptor, TCRαβ, but TCRγδ was expressed by a third of intraepithelial T-cells in the proximal small intestine, and approximately 15% of those in the colon. Very few CD21+ lymphocytes were detected in samples of healthy canine colon and small intestinal intraepithelial cells.We have showed that canine intraepithelial lymphocytes are regionally specialized, and that those from the small intestine are unique in comparison to those of other species such as man and rodents due to the large numbers of CD3+/CD8- intraepithelial lymphocytes. This study provides a baseline for comparison with intraepithelial lymphocytes obtained from canine patients with intestinal disease. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes
- Mucosal immunology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology