Reduced incidence of Marek's disease gross lymphomas in T cell depleted chickens

J. M. Sharma, K. Nazerian, R. L. Witter

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16 Scopus citations


Chickens of line 7, highly susceptible to Marek's disease (MD), were depleted of T cells by neonatal thymectomy, total body γ irradiation, and multiple injections with antithymocyte serum. In two replicate experiments, significantly fewer gross lymphomas were present in T cell depleted chickens than in intact or in T cell depleted, reconstituted hatchmates; these findings provided evidence that T cells may be the principal target for MD virus (MDV) transformation. T cell depletion was not complete, and the presence of microscopic lesions in T cell depleted chickens was attributed to residual T cells. Ten lymphomas from intact chickens and 2 lymphomas from a T cell depleted chicken were examined for cellular composition. All lymphomas consisted predominantly of T cells. The results of this and other published studies indicated that T cells may have a dual role in MD: they may serve as a target for lymphoma formation by MDV and also may participate in immune serveillance against the disease in resistant chickens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-692
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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