Enteric nervous system
Autonomic nervous system
Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The mechanisms of intercommunication between the immune and nervous systems are not fully understood. In the case of the intestine, the enteric nervous system is involved in the regulation of immune responses. It was therefore decided to employ immunohistochemical techniques to investigate the structural organization of the enteric nervous system in Peyer's patches of the porcine small intestine. Using antibodies against various nervous system-specific markers (protein gene product 9.5, neuron-specific enolase, neurofilament 200, S-100 protein and the glial fibrillary acidic protein), an intimate and specific structural association could be demonstrated between enteric nerves and the compartments of Peyer's patches: follicles, interfollicular regions and domes. Peyer's patches have a close topographical relationship to the two submucosal plexuses. Enteric nerves are located around the follicle in the interfollicular area — the so-called “traffic area”-and in the dome area, which plays an important role in the uptake and presentation of antigens.
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