Distribution of T-lymphocyte subpopulation in blood and spleen of normal cattle and cattle with enzootic bovine leukosis

J Comp Pathol. 1999 Feb;120(2):117-27. doi: 10.1053/jcpa.1998.0259.


Immunocytochemical and flow cytometry techniques were used to examine T-lymphocyte subpopulations in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) and spleen from cases of enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL) in adult cattle, and from normal cattle (adult and young), with a panel of monoclonal antibodies against bovine leucocyte differentiation molecules. Both in PBLs and spleen, the percentages of T-lymphocyte subpopulations (CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and WC1 + gamma delta T lymphocytes) of EBL-affected and normal adult cattle were significantly lower than those of normal young cattle. The percentages of these T-lymphocyte subpopulations in the PBLs of adult cattle with EBL were lower than those of normal adult cattle, but the converse was true in the spleen. It is suggested that tumour immunity occurred in the spleen. Histological examination revealed no follicular hyperplasia in the spleen, and the proliferation of neoplastic cells began in the red pulp. It is concluded that the spleen is not the organ initially responsible for the transformation of EBL lymphoma and that neoplastic cells migrating from peripheral blood are metastatic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cattle / blood
  • Cattle / immunology*
  • Enzootic Bovine Leukosis / blood
  • Enzootic Bovine Leukosis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Spleen / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology