NYMC Faculty Publications

Guinea Pig T Lymphocyte Development Analyzed by Enzyme Histocytochemistry, Monoclonal Antibodies, and Flow Cytometry

Journal Title

Laboratory Investigation; a Journal of Technical Methods and Pathology

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Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date

March 1985


Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


Studies of T (thymus-derived) lymphocyte ontogeny in the guinea pig have been hampered by the lack of suitable antigenic or other markers for various T cell subpopulations in this species. Monoclonal antibodies that recognize three distinct surface proteins of guinea pig T cells and react with all peripheral T cells have been used in combination with membrane alkaline phosphatase (AP) to characterize stages of guinea pig T cell development and to determine anatomical localization of different T cell subpopulations. Flow cytofluorographic analysis of thymus, spleen, and lymph node lymphocytes was used to characterize monoclonal antibody specificity. Cortical thymocytes in tissue sections expressed membrane AP activity and contained nuclear terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase; medullary thymocytes reacted strongly with one of the monoclonal antibodies (8BE6), minimally with a second (5CD2), and not at all with a third (11AE3). In contrast, polyclonal rabbit antiguinea pig T cell antiserum reacted with both cortical and medullary thymocytes. Staining of tissue sections of lymph node and spleen revealed AP+ lymphocytes to be present peripheral to the mantle region of lymph node follicles and to be randomly scattered throughout the splenic red pulp. T cells reactive with monoclonal antibodies were located primarily in paracortical regions of lymph node and the central region around the periarteriolar regions of the spleen. Dual staining of frozen sections and cell suspension of guinea pig lymphoid tissues for AP activity and surface proteins unique to T cells showed that AP+ cells lacked T cell markers. Dual staining for AP activity and surface immunoglobulins or esterase activity showed that AP+ cells are not likely to be derived from either B cell or monocyte-macrophage lineages. AP+ cells in guinea pig secondary lymphoid tissue may represent a unique subset of lymphocytes of unknown function.

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