Oliveira CA, Telles LF, Oliveira AG, Kalapothakis E, Gonçalves-Dornelas H, Mahecha GA.
Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2006 Oct 15;113(3-4):257-66. Epub 2006 Jun 27.
Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antônio Carlos 6627, CEP 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil. email@example.com
The Harderian gland of chickens contains numerous plasma cells and is considered as a peripheral lymphoid organ. Data about this gland in other avian species are scarce or inexistent. Considering that ducks show some unique characteristics regarding the immune system, which are important in evolutionary context, and that unusual location of plasma cells into the epithelium was recently described in primitive avian species, here we investigated the occurrence and characterized intraepithelial plasma cells in the Harderian gland of ducks, according to the immunoglobulin produced. Numerous intraepithelial plasma cells were found confined to the Harderian gland ducts. Plasma cells were also found in the ducts lamina propria. IgM-positive cells were the most abundant into the epithelium. In contrast, IgY- or IgA-positive cells were predominant in the lamina propria. The constancy of intraepithelial plasma cells in all specimens examined indicates that they may be essential mediator for an effective immunesurvaillance of the ocular mucosa.