Immunology of pouch young marsupials. I. Levels of immunoglobulin transferrin and albumin in the blood and milk of euros and wallaroos (hill kangaroos: Macropus robustus, marsupialia)

E. M. Deane*, D. W. Cooper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The concentration of total protein, albumin, transferrin, and immunoglobulin G of adult serum, pouch young serum, milk whey and colostrum has been estimated in three species of kangaroos, Macropus robustus, Macropus rufus (= Megaleia rufa) and Macropus giganteus. No study of this kind has previously been published for any marsupial species. The three individual proteins were antigenically identical in all four kinds of fluid. Colostrum and milk whey are relatively enriched in transferrin but have low levels of immunoglobulin G. Serum concentrations of total protein, albumin and transferrin rise steadily throughout pouch life and attain adult values when the young finally leaves the pouch. Serum concentrations of immunoglobulin G are very low for the first 90-100 days of pouch life, being approximately half of those in milk whey for this period. After this the level rises rapidly and also reaches adult values when the young leaves the pouch. We suggest that in the first 90-100 days the pouch young is largely protected humorally by passive immunity acquired from the mother, and after this it increasingly makes its own responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-876
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1984

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