J Vet Sci.  2014 Dec;15(4):465-474. 10.4142/jvs.2014.15.4.465.

Developmental changes in cell proliferation and apoptosis in the normal duck bursa of Fabricius

  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an 625014, China. fangjing4109@163.com


The aim of this work was to investigate developmental changes in cell proliferation and apoptosis in normal duck bursa of Fabricius using flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Studies were carried out on Tianfu ducks on days 24 and 27 of embryogenesis (E24 and E27) along with days 20, 70, and 200 of postnatal development (P20, P70, and P200). Results showed that the percentage of G0/G1 bursa cells significantly increased between E24 and P200 while the percentage of cells in the S phase or G2 + M phase as well as the proliferating index obviously decreased during the same period. Proliferation cell nuclear antigen was detected in lymphocyte and interfollicular epithelium. The proliferative lymphocyte density tended to decrease from E24 to P200. Apoptotic bodies in macrophages, free apoptotic bodies, or nuclei with condensed chromatin in lymphocytes in follicles were identified by transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling. Both flow cytometry and microscopic analysis reveal that the proportion of apoptotic cells and apoptotic lymphocyte density increased from E24 to P20, fell on P70, then rose again on P200. Our foundings demonstrate that cell proliferation decreases and apoptosis increases with age. These changes may account for duck bursa development and involution.


apoptosis; bursa of Fabricius; development; duck; proliferation
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