Postnatal development of intra-epithelial leukocytes in the chicken digestive tract: phenotypical characterization in situ

L VERVELDE*, SHM JEURISSEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the present study, we characterized intra-epithelial leukocytes in the digestive tract of chickens during postnatal development. Their phenotype was characterized by monoclonal antibodies in cryostat sections and the numbers of the different cell-types were counted in the epithelium of the esophagus, proventriculus, duodenum, jejunum, cecum, and colon. All intra-epithelial leukocytes bore the leukocyte-common antigen CD45; 35% were T lymphocytes, and 50% bore a B-cell marker. However, no immunoglobulin-bearing cells were detected in the epithelium. Monocytes and macrophages were found only in the epithelium of the esophagus. A remaining population of non-B, non-T, non-monocyte cells (15%) was present in all parts of the digestive tract. The number of intra-epithelial leukocytes was greatest in the duodenum and jejunum, and decreased in the proximal part of the cecum and in the colon. Intra-epithelial leukocytes were only sporadically detected in the proventriculus. The total number of intra-epithelial leukocytes increased until 8 weeks after hatching and then decreased at 18 months. In the esophagus, the total number of intraepithelial leukocytes changed little during aging. We found that the intra-epithelial leukocytes of chickens and rodents are distinct in that chicken intra-epithelial leukocytes comprise a cell population that bears a B-cell antigen but that lacks surface immunoglobulins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalCell and tissue research
Volume274
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1993

Keywords

  • LEUKOCYTES
  • IMMUNOCYTOCHEMISTRY
  • B-LYMPHOCYTES
  • ANTIGEN
  • CELLS
  • DIGESTIVE TRACT
  • T-LYMPHOCYTES
  • LAMINA PROPRIA
  • MARKERS
  • DOMESTIC FOWL
  • RAT SMALL-INTESTINE
  • LYMPHOID-TISSUES
  • RECEPTORS
  • DEVELOPMENT, ONTOGENIC
  • MONOCLONAL-ANTIBODIES
  • SUBPOPULATIONS
  • INTESTINAL INTRAEPITHELIAL LYMPHOCYTES

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