The Key Cell of the Mucosal Immunity: M Cell

Simsek Y., Yilmaz O., Yuksel H.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY, vol.2, no.3, pp.52-56, 2014 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.5606/tji.2014.338
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.52-56
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


M cells are immune cells located in the mucosal epithelium. They constitute the initial step of mucosal as well as systemic immune response by presenting antigens to the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue located under the mucosa. Structural and functional characteristics of M cells which are different from their neighboring epithelial cells show that their primary function is antigen presentation. Furthermore, they are used as an entrance gate to the host tissue by many pathogens. These characteristics make M cells the target for oral, nasal vaccine and intestinal drug applications. The role of M cells in the antigen sampling makes these cells important for oral immunotherapy applications, too. With the advancement in M cell cultures and increasing understanding of M cells would make M cell-mediated differences in the treatment and applications.