Letter | Published:

A new source of embryonic lymphocytes in the mouse

Nature volume 301, pages 154156 (13 January 1983) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The source of stem cells within the early mammalian embryo has not been identified. The yolk sac, once thought to provide the early stem cells in birds, is now seen more as a primitive effector organ capable of allorecognition, natural cytotoxic reactions and elaboration of cytokines1–4. In lower vertebrates the source appears to be within a region delineated by the anterior limbs, foregut and mesonephros5–9. That region defines the boundaries of the developing omentum, a fold in the peritoneum. As the omentum is known to develop lymphoid cells postnatally10,11 we have now examined the omental rudiment for the presence of lymphoid cell precursors. Our experiments provide evidence that the presumptive omentum of the 13-day mouse embryo is capable of histiotypic differentiation into a reticular organ containing a significant number of Thy 1+ lymphocytes, which suggests that the omentum may represent a new primary lymphoid organ in the mouse.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA

    • Louis Kubai
    •  & Robert Auerbach

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About this article

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/301154a0

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