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Dev Comp Immunol. 1991 Fall;15(4):423-30.

Analysis of immunocompetent cells in the bat, Pteropus giganteus: isolation and scanning electron microscopic characterization.

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  • 1Immunology and Cell Biology Laboratory, University of North Bengal, Siliguri, India.


Immunocompetent cells of the Indian fruit bat (P. giganteus) were characterized by differential surface adhesiveness and surface topography. We observed three cell types: (1) plastic adherent with pseudopodia; (2) nylon wool adherent with small microvilli and pits; and (3) a nylon wool nonadherent with comparatively smooth surfaces. These cell types resemble, respectively, macrophages, B cells and T cells of other mammals, including mice and humans. The disposition of microvilli on the B-type cell surface changes significantly after immunization, which suggests modulation of the molecular organization of the cell membrane and its fluidity. The proportions of these three cell types are not much different from those found in mice. Follicular dendritic cells, capable of retaining antigen for long periods in mice, have also been detected in bats. Further characterization of immunocompetent cells wil help in understanding the mechanism of immune responses in bats.

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