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It has previously been confirmed that the guinea pig has aggregations of 10-20 lymphoid follicles at the junction of the nasal cavity and the nasopharyngeal duct. The vascular architecture of this nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) was studied by the corrosion cast/scanning electron microscope method. The NALT was supplied by branches of the inferior nasal artery. These afferent arterial branches gave off arterioles to the follicles and the interfollicular regions, where the arterioles ramified into capillaries. Some of these arterioles reached the subepithelial region to form a single-layer dense capillary network. The subepithelial capillaries gathered into short collecting venules, which in turn drained into high endothelial venules (HEV) in the interfollicular region. The HEV, which also receives tributaries from the follicular and interfollicular capillary plexuses, descended in the interfollicular regions and finally flowed into the efferent veins at the bottom of the NALT. Indentations impressed by high endothelial cells (HEC) were prominent on the surface of the HEV casts, and their frequency was larger in the upper course or segments than in the lower. This suggests that the incidence of HEC in the upper segments is higher than in the lower segments, and these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that some substances which are taken up into the subepithelial capillaries and transported to the venules induce differentiation and maintain of HEVs.
nasal-associated lymphoid tisse
vascular corrosion cast
high endothelial venule
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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