To facilitate a detailed investigation of cetacean lymphoid organs, 13 canine-, six bovine-, one equine-, one human- and four killer whale-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against cell surface antigens of the haematopoietic system (including CD2, CD4, CD8, CD45R, MHC class II, granulocyte, thrombocyte, pan-T cell and B-cell antigen), as well as a mAb and a polyclonal antibody (pAb) directed against the ε-peptide of the human CD3 complex, were tested for immunohistochemical cross-reactivity on frozen or formalin-fixed, paraffin wax-embedded lymphatic tissues of harbour porpoises. Eight of 26 mAbs and the pAb showed a specific reaction with harbour porpoise cells. Lymphocytes in T-cell compartments were labelled by the mAb and the pAb directed against the CD3 complex and by two killer whale mAbs specific for CD2 antigen. CD45R, labelled by a killer whale-specific mAb, was strongly expressed on B and weakly on T cells. MHC class II antigen, recognized by killer whale- and bovine-specific mAbs, was expressed on B and T cells. A canine MHC class II-specific mAb recognized an epitope on the surface of antigen-presenting cells and B lymphocytes. An anti-equine-pan-leucocyte marker labelled the majority of cells in B- and T-cell compartments. Thus, with leucocyte antigen markers from various species, it is now possible to determine the phenotype of lymphocytes in normal and diseased lymphoid organs of harbour porpoises.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Annette Artelt for excellent technical assistance and Ute Zeller for photographic support. This study was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (F+E-Vorhaben 29965 221/0). A. Beineke is supported by grants from the German Federal Environment Foundation.