Ontogeny of the Immune System in Fish — Role of the Thymus

  • J. J. A. van Loon
  • C. J. Secombes
  • E. Egberts
  • W. B. van Muiswinkel
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 149)


Our present knowledge about the ontogeny of the immune systems in lower vertebrates is limited. The development of the thymus in fish has been described and the sequence of histogenesis in relation to the other lymphoid organs has also been investigated (Sailendri, 1973; Grace and Manning, 1980). However, virtually nothing is known about the ontogenetic appearance of immunoglobulin and iramuno-competence in fish, in contrast to the well-studied amphibians. Only the work of Ellis (1977) has given an indication of the time of appearance of surface immunoglobulin on lymphoid cells in salmon. Here the appearance of immunological maturity was coincidental with the onset of feeding and it was proposed that this may result from the larvae being subjected to a large antigenic challenge from the diet. In the present study the histogenesis of lymphoid organs and the appearance of surface- and cytoplasmic immunoglobulin (sIg and cIg respectively) of lymphoid cells was investigated in young carp, Cyprinus carpio L. Results on Ig-levels, functional tests (immunization) and tolerance induction during early development are to be published elsewhere.


Lymphoid Cell Lymphoid Organ Cytoplasmic Immunoglobulin Adult Carp Immunoglobulin Produce Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. A. van Loon
    • 1
  • C. J. Secombes
    • 1
  • E. Egberts
    • 1
  • W. B. van Muiswinkel
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Exp. Animal Morphology and Cell BiologyAgricultural UniversityAH WageningenThe Netherlands

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