Ontogeny of immunoglobulin expression in the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

Marsupials, unlike eutherians, are born immunologically immature, without circulating lymphocytes or organised lymphoid tissue. Their immune response develops while they are in the pouch not in the uterus. In this study, the onset time of immunoglobulin expression in Trichosurus vulpecula pouch young was estimated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. As in eutherian species, IgM heavy chain transcripts were detected first, at day 10 post partum. The first switched transcript, detected at day 18, was Calpha. Cgamma and Cepsilon transcripts were not present at day 72, but were seen at day 103, approximately corresponding to the time of release of the teat and exposure to new antigens, as well as the time of the loss of capacity to absorb maternal Igs through the gut. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author K. Belov, M. A. T. Nguyen, K. R. Zenger and D. W. Cooper
Year 2002
Secondary title Developmental and Comparative Immunology
Volume 26
Number 7
Pages 599-602