Extracellular matrix of lymphoid tissues in the chick

A. Colombatti, A. Poletti, A. Carbone, D. Volpin, G. M. Bressan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe the immunohistochemical distribution of components of the extracellular matrix of the chick lymphoid system. In the thymus, basement membranes of epithelial cells bordering the lobules were intensely stained by laminin antibodies; fibronectin antibodies labeled the capsule and the septal matrix, and similar reactivity was seen with tropoelastin and gp 115 antibodies. No positivity was detected with any of the antibodies within the cortical parenchymal cells. Laminin was not detected in the medullary parenchyma, whereas fibronectin was present as coarse fibers. Tropoelastin and gp 115 appeared as a finer and more diffuse meshwork. In the bursa, laminin antibodies outlined the epithelial cells separating the cortex from the medulla. Fibronectin, tropoelastin, and gp 115 antibody stained the interfollicular septa and the cortical matrix, although to a different extent. Lamin was also detected in association with the interfollicular epithelium (IFE) basement membrane, whereas no staining was found underneath the follicle-associated epithelium (FAE). FAE cells not only lack a proper basement membrane but are also not separated from medullary lymphocytes by any of the other extracellular matrix components we investigated. Consequently, medullary lymphocytes are not sequestered, and can come easily into contact with antigens present in the intestinal lumen. All four antibodies stained the spleen capsule and spleen blood vessels, tropoelastin and gp 115 antibodies giving the strongest reactivity. A fine trabecular staining pattern was detected with gp 115 antibodies in the white pulp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-763
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Anatomy


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