Formation of Ilf-Like Structures in Hatchlings T. Scripta

Publication Date


Document Type



Biological Sciences


Laura Vogel

Mentor Department

Biological Sciences


Rachel Bowden

Co-Mentor Department

Biological Sciences


Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is vital for protection against ingested pathogens and maintenance of normal gut microbiota. While much is known about the mammalian gut and lymphoid tissues associated with it, gut immunity is much less understood in reptilians. Of particular interest are small structures called isolated lymphoid follicles (ILF), consisting primarily of B cells, found throughout the small intestine. In mammals, the formation of the ILF is not developmentally driven like other lymphoid tissues such as Peyer's Patches, but is rather dynamic and induced through antigenic stimulation and diet. We have now identified ILF-like structures Trachemys scripta. Our preliminary studies have shown high variation in the presence and location of these structures in hatchling animals by use of a specific primary antibody to turtle Ig (HL-673). To determine if the observed ILF-like structures are inducible, similar to those in mammals, we will introduce enteric Salmonella through oral gavage to hatchling turtles and allow colonization. Gut tissue will then be analyzed through whole mount immunohistochemistry for the distribution of B cell presence. These studies will provide novel information about gut immunity in non-mammalian vertebrates.



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