Expression of lymphocyte antigenic determinants in developing gut-associated lymphoid tissue of the sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax (L.)
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The monoclonal antibodies DLT15 and DLIg3, which recognize antigenic determinants expressed by T cells and Ig-bearing cells, respectively, allowed the development of gut-associated lymphoid tissue of the teleost fish Dicentrarchus labrax (L.) to be studied. DLT15- immunoreactive cells were first detected in the epithelium of the stomach and intestine at day 30 post-hatching of fish maintained at 16° C. At that age, positive cells were found only in the thymus. Between day 44 and day 81 post-hatching, DLT15-immunoreactive cells became numerous, both in and under the gut epithelium. A gradient in the number of lymphocytes was present, concentrating them towards the anus. Until day 81 post-hatching, DLIg3-immunoreactive cells were not found in the gut, although they were present in the kidney, spleen and thymus earlier. Infrequent Ig-bearing cells were found in the gut mucosa of 1-year-old sea bass. This study showed that the gut-associated lymphoid tissue developed earlier than other lymphoid compartments. It also provided evidence of the predominance of T cells in the gut immune system of the sea bass.
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