Ontogeny of immunoglobulin expression in the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

Katherine Belov, Mai-Anh Nguyen, Kyall Zenger, Desmond Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Marsupials, unlike eutherians, are born immunologically immature, without circulating lymphocytes or organised lymphoid tissue. Their immune response develops while they are in the pouch not in the uterus. In this study, the onset time of immunoglobulin expression in Trichosurus vulpecula pouch young was estimated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. As in eutherian species, IgM heavy chain transcripts were detected first, at day 10 post partum. The first switched transcript, detected at day 18, was Cα. Cγ and Cε transcripts were not present at day 72, but were seen at day 103, approximately corresponding to the time of release of the teat and exposure to new antigens, as well as the time of the loss of capacity to absorb maternal Igs through the gut.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-602
Number of pages4
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Heavy chain
  • Immunoglobulin
  • Marsupial
  • Ontogeny
  • Pouch young
  • Trichosurus vulpecula

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