TABLE 3.

Tests and techniques used in mucosal immunity (humoral and cellular)a

Parameter(s) studiedQualification and quantificationFunctional assays
Test(s)Reference(s) (when specifically applied to mucosal immunity)Test(s)Reference(s) (when specifically applied to mucosal immunity)
Humoral immunity (soluble factors, specific and nonspecific)ELISA (antibodies, cytokines)22, 31, 63-65, 72, 86Hemagglutination inhibition, seroneutralization37, 53
Western blottingAntibody-mediated passive protection65
ImmunoprecipitationInhibition of binding
ImmunodiffusionInhibition of transcytosis40
In vitro toxicity75
Sensitization or allergic reaction72
Opsonophagocytosis
Cellular immunity (specific and nonspecific)ELISPOTs (antibodies, cytokines)2, 9, 10, 18, 20, 26, 32, 36, 44, 51, 54, 60, 71, 72, 77, 81, 82CTLs59, 70
Intracellular cytokine staining4DTH (Th1)79
RT-PCR6, 50, 57, 88APC function (DCs)30, 74, 76
Isolation of T-cell clones12-14Allergic reaction (role of mast cells)29, 61
Detection of APCs15, 76
Lymphoproliferation28, 38Chemotaxis assay30
Immunohistochemistry16, 72Development of mucosal system (role of cytokines, use of transgenic mice)45
Phenotyping fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis (receptors, αβ/γδ integrins, costimulatory molecules, etc.)16, 70Cell-mediated passive protection56
Others study of mucosal pathogens [including protection assays], study of microflora, biodistribution, mucosal penetration, etc.Pathogen or microflora identification and quantification25, 41, 46, 48, 53, 58, 66, 74Enzymatic assays23, 25, 48
Histology (mucosal modifications)1, 19, 48, 72, 80, 87
Use of in vitro mucosal chambers (study antigen or pathogen uptake and induced phenomena)55Use of in vitro mucosal chambers (study antigen or pathogen uptake and induced phenomena)55
  • a The separation between (i) qualification and quantification and (ii) functional assays may seem artificial in some situations, but this has nevertheless been attempted for more clarity.