Mucosal immunology

Mucosal immunology is the study of immune responses occurring in any surface that is in contact with the external environment. The intestines, respiratory tract and the urogenitcal tract all belong to the mucosal barrier. The mucosal immune system has three main functions: 1: it serves as the body's first line defense against pathogens. 2: it prevents systemic immune responses to commensal bacteria and food antigens. 3: it regulates appropriate immune responses to pathogens on a daily basis. Given that the mucosa are the primary contact point between a host and its environment, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) and a large part of the lymph nodes can be found near these epithelial barriers. Lymphoid tissue is mainly populated by lymphocytes such as T cells and B cells, but also macrophages and plasma cells are encountered here.

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Abbreviation legend

F Frozen sections
FC Flow cytometry
FS Functional studies
IA Immuno assays
IF Immuno fluorescence
IP Immuno precipitation
P Paraffin sections
W Western blot

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