Development of the immune system and immunological protection in marsupial pouch young

J. M. Old, E. M. Deane*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

At birth the tissues of marsupial immune system are underdeveloped. The young animal is not immunocompetent. Histological and immunohistochemical studies of pouch young epithelial tissues provide a clear picture of tissue development but the timing of onset of immunocompetence awaits definition. The survival of the neonatal marsupial in a microbially rich environment is dependent on maternal strategies, including immunoglobulin transfer via milk and, in some species, prenatally via the yolk sac placenta. It is also likely that pouch secretions play a role. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the pathway of immunological development in marsupials and the protection and threats afforded by the pouch environment. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-454
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2000

Keywords

  • Immunocompetence
  • Marsupials
  • Ontogeny

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