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Abstract

Proliferative and migratory changes of lymphoid cells in the spleen were observed in turtles stimulated with KLH and maintained at 30°C. Small foci of pyroninophilic lymphoblasts were first seen in the white pulp at about day 5. Progressive enlargement of these centers continued and peaked by days 8-12. By days 15-20 the white pulp returned to a normal (unimmunized) state, while the number of pyroninophilic cells, primarily plasma cells, increased markedly in the red pulp. At days 22-25, the number of plasma cells returned to normal levels and the spleen appeared normal for the remainder of the 60 day observation period. These events suggest that at 30°C,-the turtle is capable of a strong and prompt proliferative response in the white pulp sheaths, followed by migration and differentiation of lymphoblasts into plasma cells, n the red pulp., Observations of pyroninophilic cells in sinuses, venules and veins of the spleen and a concomitant depletion of cells in red pulp, further suggest a migration from the spleen to other sites.

Following a second antigenic challenge, at day 60, no significant histological changes were observed at 30°C. Nor were any changes observed following primary or secondary antigenic challenge, in animals maintained at 10°C. These findings are discussed with regard to immunological memory and low temperature immunosuppression in ectothermic vertebrates.