[en] During preclinical stages of cattle orally infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the responsible agent is confined to ileal Peyer's patches (IPP), namely in nerve fibers and in lymph follicles, before reaching the peripheral and central nervous systems. No infectivity has been reported in other bovine lymphoid organs, including jejunal Peyer's patches (JPP). To determine the potential sites for prion neuroinvasion in IPP, we analyzed the mucosal innervation and the interface between nerve fibers and follicular dendritic cells (FDC), two dramatic influences on neuroinvasion. Bovine IPP were studied at three ages, viz., newborn calves, calves less than 12 months old, and bovines older than 24 months, and the parameters obtained were compared with those of JPP. No differences in innervation patterns between IPP and JPP were found. The major difference observed was that, in calves of less than 12 months, IPP were the major mucosal-associated lymphoid organ that possessed a large number of follicles with extended FDC networks. Using a panel of antibodies, we showed that PP in 24-month-old bovines were highly innervated at various strategic sites assumed to be involved in the invasion and replication of the BSE pathogen: the suprafollicular dome, T cell area, and germinal centers. In PP in calves of less than 12 months old, no nerve fibers positive for the neurofilament markers NF-L (70 kDa) and NF-H (200 kDa) were observed in contact with FDC. Thus, in view of the proportion of these protein subunits present in neurofilaments, the innervation of the germinal centers can be said to be an age-dependent dynamic process. This variation in innervation might influence the path of neuroinvasion and, thus, the susceptibility of bovines to the BSE agent.