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Changes in the population of lymphocytes expressing CD4 and CD8 during the process of atresia of white follicles in hens

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The aim of this study was to determine whether the population of lymphocytes expressing CD4 and CD8 molecules changed in the white follicles during atresia in chickens. Frozen sections of healthy, early atretic, advanced atretic and late atretic follicles were immunostained for CD4 and CD8, and the populations of positive cells were analyzed under a light microscope. In the healthy, early atretic and advanced atretic follicles both CD4+ and CD8+ cells were localized in the theca layer, but not in the granulosa layer. However, an influx of CD4+ and CD8+ cells was observed not only in the theca but also in the follicular cavity that was formed by disintegration of the oocyte in late atretic follicles. The frequency of CD4+ T cells in the theca layer did not differ among healthy, early atretic and advanced atretic follicles, but was significantly increased in the late atretic follicles (P < 0.05). The frequency of CD8+ cells showed a pattern of change that resembled that of CD4+ T cells, with a significantly greater population in late atretic follicles than the other follicles (P < 0.05). These results suggest that CD4+ and CD8+ cells are increased in the late atretic follicles, probably to promote the tissue regression.

Keywords: CD4-expressing T cell; CD8-expressing cells; chicken ovary; follicular atresia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima-shi, Japan

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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