From IgA to neuro-immunomodulation: a travelogue through immunology.
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In this travelogue through Immunology, an overview is presented on studies by the author and his colleagues. It starts with the exploration of immune complexes in the lung, leading to the establishment of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue. This then developed into the concept of the so-called mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue involved in local immune defence to orally presented antigens. Oral infection with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis initiated studies on mast cells, and the effects of neuropeptides like substance P on mast cell function in vitro. The enteric nervous system shows a close association with mast cells, which can be investigated in in vitro cocultures between mast cells and nerves. This position of mast cells in the dialogue between the immune system and nervous system is illustrated by conditioning experiments showing the degranulation of mast cells by a conditioning stimulus.
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