Large Lymphocytes and the Simonsen Phenomenon


WHEN blood cells from an adult fowl are inoculated on the chorioallantoic membrane of the 12-day-chick embryo, easily visible opaque foci are produced1,2. This reaction is thought to be similar to the induction of splenomegaly following intravenous inoculation of adult fowl blood into the chick embryo3. The cells in blood responsible for this latter action have been found to be the lymphocytes4. Fowls are typical of the avian family in having a high proportion of circulating large lymphocytes, usually about 10 per cent, and, as autoradiographic investigations5,6 have shown that large lymphocytes and not small can synthesize deoxyribonucleic acid and proliferate, an investigation was made to determine the type of lymphocyte responsible for the induction of lesions on the chorioallantoic membrane. Blood from a group of 25 random fowls was titrated on the chorioallantoic membrane, the number of small and of large lymphocytes in the inoculated blood having been determined. A highly significant correlation (0.1 per cent in Student's t test) of the number of large lymphocytes in the inoculum with the median focal count was demonstrated. The correlation of small lymphocytes with the focal count was not significant (> 5 per cent). In repeated titrations of individual fowls, the focal count was also shown to depend on the number of large lymphocytes in the inoculum and to be quite independent of the number of small lymphocytes.


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    Burnet, F. M., and Boyer, G. S., J. Path. Bact., 81, 141 (1961).

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    Schooley, J. C., and Burnam, I., Blood, 16, 433 (1960).

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SZENBERG, A., WARNER, N. Large Lymphocytes and the Simonsen Phenomenon. Nature 191, 920 (1961).

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