Mesenteric lymph nodes and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) from juvenile eastern grey kangaroos were investigated. The mesenteric nodes had a similar structure to that described for eutherian mammals. They contained distinct regions of medulla and cortex, with prominent follicles and germinal centres. Gut associated lymphoid tissue consisted of areas of submucosal follicles. These varied from areas of densely packed lymphocytes with darkly staining, prominent coronas to areas with no defined follicles. The distribution of T cells in these tissues was documented by use of species-crossreactive antibodies to the surface markers CD3 and CD5; B cells were identified by antibodies to CD79b. Within the lymph nodes T cells were located mainly in the paracortex and cortex, with limited numbers observed in the follicles; B cells were located on the marginal zone of the follicles. In GALT, T cells were located in the peripheral regions of the germinal centres of secondary follicles, while B cells were abundant in primary follicles. These observations are consistent with those made in a range of other marsupials (metatherian) and eutherian mammals and are indicative of the capacity to respond to antigens entering via the mouth.
- Lymphoid tissue