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Cell Tissue Res March 30, 1977; 179 (1): 87-96.

Electron microscopic study on the early histogenesis of thymus in the toad, Xenopus laevis.

Sequential electron microscopic observations of thymic histogenesis in the toad, Xenopus laevis, reveal that the thymus arises as epithelial buddings of the visceral pouches at Nieuwkoop-Faber stage 40, and acquires its basic histological features at stages 48-49. In the rudiments and the surrounding mesenchyme at stages 43-45, there are non-epithelial cells with pseudopodia, abundant ribosomes, and marginated heterochromatin. These cells, possible precursor cells of thymic lymphocytes, are frequently observed to attach and pass through the basal lamina which coats the thymic rudiment. The proliferation and differentiation of large lymphocytes are evident at stage 47. During stages 48-49 the small lymphocytes, lymphoid cortex and epithelial medulla including the thymic cysts, differentiate, and vascularization occurs. The results provide an ultrastructural basis for recent experimental evidence that the thymus exerts its essential function at stages 47-48. The possibility of non-epithelial derivation of thymic lymphocytes is discussed.

PubMed ID: 300655
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References [+] :
Ackerman, Morphological studies of the embryonic rabbit thymus: the in situ epithelial versus the extrathymic derivation of the initial population of lymphocytes in the embryonic thymus. 1970, Pubmed