An evaluation of the mitogenic reactivity of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes of chickens

P. K. Agrawal, D. L. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A colorimetric assay employing MTT (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl], 2-5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) was used to determine the mitogenic response of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (i-IELs) of chickens to T- and B-cell mitogens. Comparisons between mitogenic responses of i-IELs and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) were made to examine potential relationships. The results from this study indicated that T-cell mitogens, concanavalin A (Con A), and phytohemagglutinin-P (PHA-P) induced mitogenic stimulation in i-IELs. Although stimulation indexes of both i-IELs and PBLs were similar, the optical densities (ODs) of i-IEL cultures containing Con A or PHA-P were 20- to 50-fold lower than the ODs of PBL cultures containing the same mitogen. The lower conversion of MTT to formazan resulting in lower ODs in i-IEL cultures indicated a lower level of cellular activity in the i-IELs than in the PBLs. The mitogenic responses of both i-IELs and PBLs to Con A and PHA-P were close dependent. The responsive concentration of Con A for i-IELs was within the range of 25-50 μg/ml, whereas the responsive concentration of PHA-P for i-IELs was 50 μg/ml. Three clays of incubation was found to be adequate to induce a significant (P < 0.05) mitogenic response for both T-cell mitogens. Lipopolysaccharide was unable to induce a mitogenic response in i-IELs, which was attributed to the lack of B cells in the i-IEL population. This technique may prove useful in evaluating and studying the role of i-IELs in local cell-mediated immune responses of the gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalAvian diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell-mediated immune response
  • Gut-associated lymphoid tissue
  • Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes
  • Mitogenic response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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