Ia-positive dendritic cells form a tightly meshed network within the human airway epithelium


Dr P. G. Holt, Clinical Immunology Research Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital, Thomas Street, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008.


In this report we have employed an alternative tissue-sectioning procedure which provides a plan view of intra-epithelial cell populations within the airway wall. Immunoperoxidase staining of such sections for class II MHC (Ia) antigen revealed the presence of a highly developed intra-epithelial network of Ia-positive dendritic cells, which was not evident employing conventional cross- or longitudinal tissue sections. This finding has important implications for the study of mechanisms underlying allergic and infectious diseases of the respiratory tract.