Antibody producing B-cells are an essential component of the immune system. In contrast to human and mice where B-cells develop in the bone marrow, chicken B-cells develop in defined stages in the bursa of Fabricius, a gut associated lymphoid tissue. In order to gain a better understanding of critical biological processes like immigration of B-cell precursors into the bursa anlage, their differentiation and final emigration from the bursa we analyzed the proteome dynamics of this organ during embryonic and posthatch development. Samples were taken from four representative developmental stages (embryonic day (ED) 10, ED18, day 2, and day 28) and compared in an extensive 2D DIGE approach comprising six biological replicates per time point. Cluster analysis and PCA demonstrated high reliability and reproducibility of the obtained data set and revealed distinctive proteome profiles for the selected time points, which precisely reflect the differentiation processes. One hundred fifty three protein spots with significantly different intensities were identified by MS. We detected alterations in the abundance of several proteins assigned to retinoic acid metabolism (e.g. retinal-binding protein 5) and the actin-cytoskeleton (e.g. vinculin and gelsolin). By immunohistochemistry, desmin was identified as stromal cell protein associated with the maturation of B-cell follicles. Strongest protein expression difference (10.8-fold) was observed for chloride intracellular channel 2. This protein was thus far not associated with B-cell biology but our data suggest an important function in bursa B-cell development.
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