Lymphoid tissue in the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina

Authors

  • M. Borysenko,

    1. Department of Anatomy, Tufts University, School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111
    2. Department of Anatomy, University of California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90024
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  • E. L. Cooper

    1. Department of Anatomy, Tufts University, School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111
    2. Department of Anatomy, University of California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90024
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  • Supported by United States Public Health Service grant AI 10679-01 to M.B. and National Science Foundation grant GB 17767 and GRSG-USPHS 1-FOL-FR-05354, to E.L.C.

Abstract

This report presents light microscopic descriptions of lymphoid organs and aggregates in the snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina. The thymus and spleen were found to be similar to those of other ectothermic vertebrates. Certain gut associated lymphoid aggregates suggest the presence of reptilian equivalents of tonsils, Peyer's patches and the avian bursa of Fabricius. Lymphoid aggregates located in the axillary and inguinal regions were apparent for the first time in an ectothermic vertebrate. These are of particular interest since they may represent ancestors of true lymph nodes in analogous locations in mammals. It is concluded that the snapping turtle is not deficient in lymphoid tissue, although there is a conspicuous absence of typical germinal centers, characteristic of mammalian organs.

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