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Innate immune defense in the inner ear - mucines are expressed by the human endolymphatic sac

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The human endolymphatic sac has been shown recently to have immunological capacities and has thus been proposed as the main entity protecting the inner ear from pathogen invasion, equivalent to mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). Although the sac expresses molecules of the innate immune system, the potential expression of members of the important mucin family has not been detailed. Thus, this paper explores endolymphatic sac expression of a number of mucins and mucin precursors. Twelve fresh tissue samples from the human endolymphatic sac were obtained during translabyrinthine surgery. The expression of Mucin 1, 2, 5B/AC and 16, as well as the core structure elements (mucin precursors) T-antigen, Tn-antigen and Sialyl-Tn-antigen was investigated by immunohistochemistry. The endolymphatic sac epithelium expressed MUC1 (both apically towards the endolymphatic sac (ES) lumen and basally towards the capillary network), MUC 16 and Tn-antigen. There was no labeling after incubation with antibodies against T-antigen, sialyl-Tn-antigen, MUC2 and MUC5B/AC. We conclude that the human endolymphatic sac epithelium expresses a number of mucin molecules, which supports the hypothesis of the sac as the primary immunological tissue structure of the inner ear, equivalent to MALT in other organs. The mucins may also play a role in the formation and continuous homeostasis of the inner ear fluids, as well as the pathogenesis of Meniere's disease.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Anatomy
Vol/bind230
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)297-302
Antal sider6
ISSN0021-8782
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2017

ID: 173155721