Studies on the Nature of Germinal Centers
At the end of the first germinal center conference, several questions were placed squarely in focus. Four of these seemed particularly to demand an answer if, in our two-component concept of the lymphoid tissue, the germinal center was to continue to be considered an integral part of the thymus-independent lymphoid system — that system which, when fully differentiated, is responsible for immunoglobulin and antibody synthesis. The four questions we chose to consider are: (1) Do germinal centers represent simply inflammatory responses in the lymphoid tissue to antigen-antibody complex stimulation, as Turk  suggested? (2) Are the lymphoid follicles associated with the gut epithelium (e.g., Peyer’s patches and sacculus rotundus) simply the same as germinal centers elsewhere, or are they a distinguishable type of follicle deserving special consideration, as is the case with the follicles of the bursa of Fabricius? (3) Can the germinal centers, plasma cells, and capacity for immunoglobulin synthesis be eliminated in chickens by bursectomy without use of irradiation? In such experiments, can evidence be brought forward to link the germinal centers with production of one or more of the immunoglobulins? (4) Can more definitive extirpative studies of the Peyer’s patch type of lymphoid tissue be carried out to establish or reject the hypothesis that germinal centers and plasma cells of mammals, like germinal centers and plasma cells of chickens, are dependent upon a gut-epithelium-associated central lymphoid tissue?
KeywordsGerminal Center Lymphoid Follicle Gamma Globulin Popliteal Node Irradiate Group
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