The development of the liver, bone marrow and spleen have been investigated in the stripe-faced dunnart. At birth, the liver was undergoing haematopoiesis but the level declined rapidly and by day 50 after birth the liver was histologically mature. Both the bone marrow and spleen were non-haematopoietic at birth but initiated haematopoiesis shortly thereafter. Bone marrow was initially detected at day 11 postpartum. By 57 days after birth, adipocytes had infiltrated the marrow and were abundant by day 60 after birth. Mitotic cells were observed in remaining areas of marrow until at least 170 days postpartum. The spleen at birth was undifferentiated, with trabeculae appearing by day 42. Red and white pulp areas became apparent by day 43 and were well defined by day 57 after birth. In summary, the pattern of the development of the liver, bone marrow and spleen in the stripe-faced dunnart were similar to that observed in eutherians and other metatherians studied to date.
- Bone marrow