The early postnatal development of the primary immune response in rat popliteal lymph node, stimulated with thymus-independent type-1 and type-2 antigens Academic Article uri icon


  • To examine the development of the postnatal immune response to thymus-independent type-1 (TI-type 1) and TI type-2 antigens, respectively, trinitrophenyl-lipopolysaccharide (TNP-LPS) or TNP-Ficoll was injected subcutaneously into the hind footpads of young rats of various ages. After 5 days the popliteal lymph nodes (PLNs) were removed and the localization pattern of specific anti-TNP antibody-containing cells was studied. The first specific antibody-containing cells elicited in rats by TNP-LPS appeared in animals at day 19 after birth. The results suggest that the development of these cells from lymphocyte to plasma cell occurs while they migrate from cortex to medulla. An unexpected finding was the low response to TNP-Ficoll in PLN; from 6 weeks after birth only very few specific antibody-containing cells were found. However, in the spleen numerous anti-TNP antibody-containing cells were found in the periarteriolar lymphocyte sheaths. To test the exclusive role of the spleen in the appearance of anti-TNP antibody-containing cells in lymph node after subcutaneous administration of TNP-Ficoll, the experiment was repeated in rats that had been splenectomized. Evidence from these experiments suggests that the spleen plays a major role in the appearance of the above-mentioned cells in lymph nodes.

publication date

  • December 1987