Research into marsupial adaptive immunity during ontogeny has been hampered by the lack of antibodies that react to marsupial immunological cell populations. In this study, newly synthesised polyclonal antibodies to the T cell marker, CD8, have been developed and used to investigate the ontogeny and distribution of this T cell population in the tammar wallaby. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that the distribution of the CD8 lymphocytes in the lymphoid tissues of tammar neonates during the first 144 days of pouch life was similar to that of the eutherian mammals. However, CD8α(+) lymphocytes were observed in the intestines of tammar neonates prior to their first appearance in the cervical thymus, an observation that has not been found in eutherians. A dual labelling immunohistochemical approach was used for the indirect demonstration of CD4 and enabled the simultaneous detection in the tammar wallaby tissues of the two major T-lymphocyte populations, CD4 and CD8 that are associated with adaptive immunity. As in eutherian mammals, CD4(+) cells were the predominant T cell lymphocyte subset observed in the spleen while in the nodal tissues, an age-related decrease in the CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio was noted. These antibodies provide a new immunological tool to study the role of T cell subsets in marsupial immunity and disease pathogenesis studies.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Developmental and Comparative Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2012|