Ontogeny of T cells, B cells and monocytes in the bovine foetus

D. R. Senogles, P. S. Paul, D. W. Johnson, C. C. Muscoplat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The ontogeny of lymphocyte subpopulations and monocytes was studied in developing bovine foetuses. Fifty-four bovine foetuses ranging in age from 3 to 9 months of gestation were collected and examined for the presence of thymus-derived (T lymphocytes), bone marrow-derived (B lymphocytes) and phagocytic (macrophage) cells from thymus, spleen and peripheral blood. Detection of the cells expressing T lymphocyte surface markers was done using a modified sheep red blood cell rosette assay. Lymphocytes bearing surface immunoglobulin (sIg) were detected by staining with a fluoresceinated rabbit antibody prepared against bovine IgG. The procedure used for detecting monocytes was a latex bead phagocytic assay. In the thymus, the percentage of T lymphocytes was relatively constant throughout gestation at approximately 60-70%, with B lymphocytes remaining at about 1%, whereas the phagocytic cells showed an increase from 1% at 3 months to approximately 8% at term. The spleen showed an increasing percentage of T lymphocytes, from 11% at 3 months to over 40% at term, whereas the percentage of B lymphocytes remained consistent at about 2-3% from 3 months until term. The percentage of monocytes increases from 1% at 3 months to over 20% at 9 months. Peripheral blood T lymphocytes increased steadily from approximately 1% at 3 months to 45% at term. B lymphocyte levels remained low, about 1%, throughout gestation, whereas monocytes increased from 1% at 3 months to 5% at 9 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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