Antigens Associated with Bursal and Thymic Reticular Epithelial Cells
There is evidence of a role for thymic reticulum cells and epithelium in mammalian T lymphocyte differentiation (1,2) and we have previously shown (3) that chicken thymic and bursal reticular epithelial (REp) cells are able to induce in vitro the appearance of T and B lymphocyte surface markers, respectively, on embryonic precursor cells. In addition, bursa-derived factor(s) have been shown to influence B cell development (4,5). Chicken thymus REp cells have specific characteristics (6,7) and we have demonstrated (8) the antigenic specificity of the bursal reticulin framework associated with the cortico-medullary junction and the cortex. Thus, considerable evidence points to the specificity of reticular-and epithelial-type cells of primary lymphoid organs and to a role of these cells in lymphocyte differentiation. With a view to characterizing and investigating the function of avian REp cells and associated structures xenoantisera have been produced which have enabled the detection of a number of antigens.
KeywordsLymphocyte Differentiation Follicle Formation Corticomedullary Junction Primary Lymphoid Organ Animal Health Research
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