Several methods for the preparation of cell suspensions from human gastrointestinal mucosa were investigated. Satisfactory suspensions were obtained by incubating tissue fragments in a solution of collagenase and hyaluronidase overnight at 4 degrees C followed by 30 minutes at 37 degrees C. The resulting suspension contained large numbers of intact lymphoid cells; in addition, variable amounts of epithelial cells and cell debris were present. A high proportion of the lymphoid cells were shown by immunofluorescence to contain immunoglobulin (mainly IgA). Viability of these cells was demonstrated by dye exclusion, their ability to survive in short-term culture, and their ability to incorporate radio-labelled amino acid into immunoglobulin in vitro.
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