Architecture of the Blood-Spleen Barrier in the Soft-Shelled Turtle, Pelodiseus Sinensis



We investigated the structure of the soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiseus sinensi, spleen and demonstrated that there were several microanatomical peculiarities by light and transmission electron microscopy. In the spleen, the white pulp of the spleen was composed of two compartments, the periarteriolar lymphatic sheath (PALS) and periellipsoidal lymphatic sheath (PELS). No lymph nodules and marginal zones were found. The spleen-blood barrier stood in the PELS and the ellipsoid. The high endothelial lining of penicilliform capillary contained small channels. These channels allowed circulating substances or lymphocytes to enter the ellipsoid. The distal portion of the penicilliform capillaries directly opened to pulp cords. The ellipsoid-associated cell (EAC) was located at the surface of the ellipsoid. Reticular fibers were mainly distributed in ellipsoid and the outer PELS. Both reticular cells and macrophages were distributed in the outer layers of PELS. S-100 protein positive dendritic cells were mainly distributed in out cells layer of the PELS and all over the PALS. Forty minutes after injection, carbon particles of Indian ink were mainly observed in the ellipsoid. Few carbon particles were observed in the outer PELS and fewer carbon particles in the red pulp. These findings suggested that a blood-spleen barrier indeed existed in the soft-turtle, P. sinensi, and it was a complex composed of an ellipsoid (including supporting cells, EAC, and reticular fibers) and the outer compartments of PELS (including dendritic cells, reticular fibers and cells, macrophages). Anat Rec, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.