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M cells

Thursday 4 December 2003

Function

The M cell is found in the epithelium that covers mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue in the digestive tract and the airways.

M cells internalize macromolecules and microorganisms efficiently and deliver them to the underlying lymphoid tissue.

In the gut, M cells, unlike the neighbouring absorptive enterocytes, lack a highly organized apical brush border and glycocalyx, and are poorly equipped with digestive enzymes.

References

- Niedergang F, Kraehenbuhl JP. Much ado about M cells. Trends Cell Biol. 2000 Apr;10(4):137-41. PMID: 10740267