Peyer’s Patches and the Early Development of B Lymphocytes

  • J. D. Reynolds
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 135)


A number of organs contribute to the development of the B-lymphocyte lineage during ontogeny. In the fetal mouse, one of the earliest phases of B-cell development occurs in the liver, then the focus shifts to the spleen and subsequently to the bone marrow (see review by Melchers 1979). The possibility that Peyer’s patches (PPs) also contribute to early B-cell ontogeny has been the topic of a number of studies, particularly in the late 1960s when the role of the bursa of Fabricius in the chicken was becoming clearer. It was argued that mammalian PPs and the avian bursa might have similar functions (see reviews by Cooper and Lawton 1973; Reynolds et al. 1981). However, subsequent studies seemed to rule out this possibility because tissues such as the fetal liver (Owen et al. 1974) and bone marrow (Osmond and Nossal 1974) were found to be important sites of early B–cell development in some mammals. Furthermore, evidence was obtained against the involvement of PPs during the period of B-cell expansion in the neonatal mouse (Friedberg and Weissman 1974). Other studies established that PPs are sites where immune responses are initiated to antigen from the intestinal lumen. The stimulated B cells in PPs undergo terminal differentiation along a pathway that contributes to mucosal tissues being populated with plasma cells (Craig and Cebra 1971; see reviews by Mayrhofer 1984; Strober and Jacobs 1985).


Germinal Center Mesenteric Lymph Node Surface Immunoglobulin Fetal Lamb Light Chain Diversity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Reynolds
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical PhysiologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgary, AlbertaCanada

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