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Developmental Changes in Cell Proliferation and Apoptosis in the Normal Duck Thymus

Fang, J., Cui, H., Peng, X., Chen, Z., He, M., Tang, L.
Anatomia, histologia, embryologia 2011 v.40 no.6 pp. 457-465
apoptosis, cell proliferation, chromatin, cortex, cytoplasm, ducks, flow cytometry, interphase, lymphocytes, macrophages, mitosis, proliferating cell nuclear antigen
With 4 figures and 3 tables SUMMARY: Cell proliferation and apoptosis in the normal duck thymus during embryonic and post‐embryonic development were studied. The flow cytometry assay shows that the level of G0/G1 thymic cell population and the proportion of apoptotic cells increased with age, while the levels of S phase, G2 + M phase and the proliferating index decreased with age. Proliferation cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was mainly detected in the nuclei of lymphocytes. The number of PCNA‐positive cells in the cortex and medulla significantly decreased with age. Transferase‐mediated dUTP nick‐end labelling (TUNEL) reaction stained apoptotic bodies in the cytoplasm of macrophages and free apoptotic bodies or nuclei with condensed chromatin in lymphocytes. The number of TUNEL‐positive cells in the cortex and medulla markedly increased with age. The amount of proliferation and apoptotic cells in the thymic cortex was higher than that in the medulla. The balance between proliferation and apoptosis in the duck thymus may account for the process of thymic development and involution.