The Odontocete Ear Canal-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (ECALT) and Lymph Nodes: Morphological and Pathological Description with Immuno-Phenotypic Characterisation

Steffen De Vreese, Cinzia Centelleghe, Jean-Marie Graïc, Giorgia Corrazola, Lonneke L IJsseldijk, Michel André, Sandro Mazzariol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A changing marine environment with emerging natural and anthropogenic stressors challenges the marine mammal immune system. The skin and adnexa form a first protective barrier in the immune response, although this is still relatively understudied in cetaceans. The cellular and tissue morphology of the nodular and diffuse lymphoid tissue are not fully charted and the physiological responses are not yet completely understood. The odontocete's external ear canal has a complex relationship with the external environment, with an artificial lumen rendering the inside of the canal a relatively secluded environment. In this work, we studied the odontocete ear canal-associated lymphoid tissue (ECALT) by histo- and immunohistochemistry (HC, IHC) with anti-CD3, anti-CD20, anti-Iba-1, anti-HLA-DR, and anti-vimentin antibodies. The ECALT cellular composition consists mainly of B-lymphocytes with the occasional presence of T-lymphocytes and the dispersed distribution of the macrophages. In cases of activation, the cellular reaction showed a similar pattern with the occasional presence of T-cells, plasma cells, and neutrophils. Nodular lymphoid tissue was generally in line with the description in other odontocetes, although with abundant erythrocytes throughout the entire organ. This study contributes to the understanding of the cellular composition of diffuse and nodular lymphoid tissue in several species of odontocetes, and in association with inflammation of the external ear canal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2235
Pages (from-to)1-20
JournalAnimals
Volume12
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • lymphoid system
  • external ear canal
  • odontocetes
  • immunohistochemistry
  • MALT
  • lymph node

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