Development of Immune Potential and Migration Pattern of Cells from Germfree (GF) and Conventionally (CONV) Reared Rats
Absence or low levels of natural antibodies, immunoglobulins and spontaneous plaque-forming cells described in GF animals of some species [piglets (1,2), sheep (3), rabbits (4,5)] indicate that significant levels of natural antibodies can arise as the consequence of inapparent immunization by environmental antigens. Also the rapid increase in the capacity to form antibodies after imunization during first weeks of life in conventional conditions contrasting with the relatively stable level of the response in GF piglets (1) point to the role of microflora antigens in the postnatal maturation of the immune system (1–3,5). On the other hand, there exist animal species, e.g. mice, in which even in GF environment the immunological capacity and presence of natural antibodies is comparable to that of CONV reared counterparts (6,7).
KeywordsSalivary Gland Mesenteric Lymph Node Natural Antibody Environmental Antigen Postnatal Maturation
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