Colostral lymphocytes were studied using two established T-cell markers: Intracytoplasmic alpha-naphtyl-acetate esterase (ANAE) staining and membrane receptors for sheep erythrocytes (E rosettes). ANAE staining allowed counting and identification of T-cell subsets independently of the status of membrane structures and receptors frequently altered in colostral cells. The fact that a sizeable number of colostral lymphocytes had the same phenotype as the majority of mature circulating peripheral blood lymphocytes supports the hypothesis that colostral lymphocytes may play a role in protecting neonates against infections, in transferring immune information to the newborn, or in modulating the immune response via release of soluble factors. A considerable percentage of colostral T lymphocytes are ANAE-negative. This phenotype is similar to that observed among thymocytes.
- Neonatal immunology
- T lymphocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health