An immunohistochemical study and review of potential markers of human intestinal M cells


M cells are found in intestinal follicle associated epithelium. Studies into the physiological and pathological roles of human M cells have been hampered by the lack of well-substantiated, specific markers for these cells. A critical literature review suggests the following molecules may potentially serve as such markers: CK7, FcaR (CD89), S100, CD1a, CD21, CD23, sialyl Lewis A, and cathepsin E. Normal ileum, appendix and colorectum were studied using paraffinembedded, formalin-fixed tissue and immunohistochemistry for these 8 markers. Cathepsin E immunohistochemistry was also performed on cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma, colorectal adenoma, colorectal hyperplastic/metaplastic polyp, lymphocytic colitis, collagenous colitis, pseudomembranous colitis and active ulcerative colitis. Of the 8 markers tested, only cathepsin E appeared to be specific to follicle associated epithelium (expressed by cells with and without M cell morphology) and follicular crypt epithelium; this specificity was limited to the colorectum. Focal epithelial expression of cathepsin E was seen in adenocarcinoma, adenoma, hyperplastic/metaplastic polyp, ulcerative colitis and pseudomembranous colitis. In conclusion, cathepsin E is a specific marker of normal colorectal follicle associated epithelium and follicular crypt epithelium though is not specific to M cells within these compartments. None of the other 7 markers studied is exclusively expressed by human M cells.


Download data is not yet available.
Original Papers
Abstract views: 352

PDF: 847
Share it

PlumX Metrics

PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. Examples include, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like.

How to Cite
Wong, N., Herriot, M., & Rae, F. (2009). An immunohistochemical study and review of potential markers of human intestinal M cells. European Journal of Histochemistry, 47(2), 143-150.