Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue
The mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) (also called mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue) is a diffuse system of small concentrations of lymphoid tissue found in various sub-mucosa membrane sites of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract, thyroid, breast, lung, salivary glands, eye, and skin. MALT is populated by lymphocytes such as T cells and B cells, as well as plasma cells and macrophages, each of which is well situated to encounter antigens passing through the mucosal epithelium. In the case of intestinal MALT, M cells are also present, which sample antigen from the lumen and deliver it to the lymphoid tissue.
The components of MALT are sometimes subdivided into the following:
- GALT (gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Peyer's patches are a component of GALT found in the lining of the small intestines.)
- BALT (bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue)
- NALT (nasal-associated lymphoid tissue)
- CALT (conjunctival-associated lymphoid tissue)
- O-MALT (organized mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue); specifically, the tonsils of Waldeyer's tonsillar ring are O-MALT.
- D-MALT (diffuse mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue); MALT that is not organized as a separately macroscopically anatomically identifiable mass, tissue or organ (such as the aforementioned O-MALT) is diffuse MALT.
- LALT (larynx-associated lymphoid tissue)
- SALT (skin-associated lymphoid tissue)
Role in disease
- Hong Liang, Christophe Baudouin, Antoine Labbe, Luisa Riancho & Françoise Brignole-Baudouin (2012). "Conjunctiva-associated lymphoid tissue (CALT) reactions to antiglaucoma prostaglandins with or without BAK-preservative in rabbit acute toxicity study". PLoS One. 7 (3): e33913. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033913. PMC . PMID 22442734.
- Gray's Anatomy, 38ed. p. 1442 ff.