[en] In this study, we examined where immune cells and nerve fibres are located in mouse Peyer's patches, with a view to identifying potential sites for neuroinvasion by prions. Special attention was paid to dendritic cells, viewed as candidate transporters of infectious prion. Double immunofluorescence labellings with anti-CD11c antibody and marker for other immune cells (B cells, T cells, follicular dendritic cells) were carried out and analysed by confocal microscopy on Peyer's patch cryosections. To reveal the extensive ganglionated networks of the myenteric and submucosal plexi and the sparse meshworks of nerve strands, we used antibodies directed against different neurofilament subunits or against glial fibrillary acidic protein. In the suprafollicular dome, dendritic cells connect, via their cytoplasmic extensions, enterocytes with M cells of the follicle-associated epithelium. They are also close to B and T cells. Nerve fibres are detected in the suprafollicular dome, notably in contact with dendritic cells. Similar connections between dendritic cells, T cells, and nerve fibres are seen in the interfollicular region. Germinal centres are not innervated; inside them dendritic cells establish contacts with follicular dendritic cells and with B cells. After immunolabelling of normal prion protein, dendritic cells of the suprafollicular dome are intensely positive labelled. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.