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Complex expression patterns of lymphocyte-specific genes during the development of cartilaginous fish implicate unique lymphoid tissues in generating an immune repertoireCartilaginous fish express canonical B and T cell recognition genes, but their lymphoid organs and lymphocyte development have been poorly defined. Here, the expression of Ig, TCR, recombination-activating gene (Rag)-1 and terminal deoxynucleosidase (TdT) genes has been used to identify roles of various lymphoid tissues throughout development in the cartilaginous fish, Raja eglanteria (clearnose skate). In embryogenesis, Ig and TCR genes are sharply up-regulated at 8 weeks of development. At this stage TCR and TdT expression is limited to the thymus; later, TCR gene expression appears in peripheral sites in hatchlings and adults, suggesting that the thymus is a source of T cells as in mammals. B cell gene expression indicates more complex roles for the spleen and two special organs of cartilaginous fish-the Leydig and epigonal (gonad-associated) organs. In the adult, the Leydig organ is the site of the highest IgM and IgX expression. However, the spleen is the first site of IgM expression, while IgX is expressed first in gonad, liver, Leydig and even thymus. Distinctive spatiotemporal patterns of Ig light chain gene expression also are seen. A subset of Ig genes is pre-rearranged in the germline of the cartilaginous fish, making expression possible without rearrangement. To assess whether this allows differential developmental regulation, IgM and IgX heavy chain cDNA sequences from specific tissues and developmental stages have been compared with known germline-joined genomic sequences. Both non-productively rearranged genes and germline-joined genes are transcribed in the embryo and hatchling, but not in the adult.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Miracle, A. L. (University of South Florida, Children's Research Institute Department of Pediatrics, 140 Seventh Avenue South, St Petersburg, FL 33701, United States)
Anderson, M. K.
Litman, R. T.
Walsh, C. J.
Luer, C. A.
Rothenberg, E. V.
Litman, G. W.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2001
Publication Information
Publication: International immunology
Volume: 13
Issue: 4
ISSN: 0953-8178
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Evolutionary Biology