Esophagus, mucosa with lymph nodule
This image shows a single aggregation of lymphocytes in the mucosa of the esophagus, near the esophagus-stomach junction.
A germinal center (the defining feature of a lymph nodule) is not visible here, but is probably nearby out of the plane of section.
The tissue around a mucosal lymph nodule is usually filled with lymphocytes migrating to and from the germinal center. As in the image above, lymphocytes infiltrate not only lamina propria but also nearby epithelium. (In this image, most of the small blue dots surrounding the nodule are the nuclei of lymphocytes.)
Lymph nodules may occur in lamina propria anywhere along the GI tract. At sites where large clusters of lymph nodules may extend beyond lamina propria and intrude into the submucosa.
In sites where lymph nodules characteristically occur in clusters (tonsils, peyer's patches, appendix), the mass of lymphoid tissue may obscure the mucosa and intrude into the submucosa.
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SIUC / School
of Medicine / Anatomy / David
Last updated: 10 December 2007 / dgk