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Anat Histol Embryol. 1993 Sep;22(3):212-21.

The anatomy of the cloacal bursa (bursa of Fabricius) in the helmeted guinea fowl (Numida meleagris galeata).

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.


The cloacal bursa (bursa of Fabricius) in the guinea fowls appeared either as an oval blind sac with a short thick stalk in one group or had a pointed cranial blind end with a slightly bulging middle part that was followed by a thick caudal stalk in the other group. Both groups of bursae originated from the proctodeal wall of the cloaca and were placed dorsal to the rectum. The average length of the bursa was 18 mm while the average width at the mid section was 15 mm. The internal surface showed about 12-14 primary folds. Histologically, the outline of the bursa was well established by day 18 of incubation. The primary folds had also been formed. Lymphocytes had already been encountered within the framework of the bursa at this day. The epithelium bordering the tunica propria was composed principally of two layers of cuboidal cells. Epithelial buds had also formed and some were already detached from the epithelial lining. The blood vessels present were positioned just beneath the outer covering. At day 19 of incubation, most of the epithelial buds had two layers of cells arranged in a circumscribed manner while a few had three layers of cells. Blood vessels had increased in number and were deeper placed inside the bursa than previously. At day 20, the cells of the upper layer of the epithelium were dorsoventrally flattened and stained paler than the cells of the lower layer. It was possible to distinguish the cortex from the medulla and the basement lining between both zones was distinct. Tiny vesicles within the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells at the mucosa and follicles were observed. Macrophages were also observed within the gland. At day 21, blood vessels were observed in the cortex of the follicles. The maximum number of primary folds (14) had been formed. At day 22, several follicles had severed connections with the mucosal epithelium. The mucosal lining had dropped to a single layer of cells in some areas. Goblet cells were observed amongst the mucosal cells. A plasma cell had first appeared. By day 25, dead cells had increased quite in number and there was also an increase in number of medium and small-sized lymphocytes within the gland. By day 26, the upper layer of the surface epithelium was composed primarily of tall columnar cells with numerous large vacuoles. Macrophages had suddenly increased within the thin interfollicular spaces and most of them were crowded internally with various sizes of debris.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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