Lymphocyte Migration to the Middle Ear Mucosa

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We investigated the migration of antigen-specific IgA—forming cells to the middle ear mucosa. Antigen-specific lymphocytes of IgA and IgG classes were induced in guinea pigs according to an immunization strategy previously described. From those animals, chromium 51–labeled lymphocytes of Peyer's patches and spleen were transferred to radiated chimera recipients. The radioactivity levels of the middle ears with antigenic and nonantigenic stimuli were significantly higher than those of the control ears (p < .05). Those levels of radioactivity were influenced neither by origins and subsets of transferred cells nor by antigenic stimuli to the mucosa (p > .05). Many labeled cells were observed in the middle ear effusion, while few were found in the inflamed mucosa. These findings suggest that in the early stage of inflammation, lymphocytes, including antigen-specific T and B cells, may be recruited from the blood circulation to the inflamed middle ear mucosa by nonspecific inflammatory processes that may mask antigen-specific factors in lymphocyte migration.

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