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Vet Res Commun. 1998 Dec;22(8):525-32.

Age-dependent immunolocalization of fibronectin and histological changes in the thymus of rats.

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Hacettepe University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Beytepe, Ankara, Turkey.


Age-dependent variations in the immunolocalization of fibronectin (FN) in the thymus were investigated in 1-, 6-, 12- and 20-month-old male and female Swiss albino rats (Rattus rattus) at the light-microscopic level and the changes with ageing in the histological structure of the thymus were also studied. There were no significant differences in the age-dependent variations in the immunolocalization of fibronectin or in the histological structure of the thymus between male and female rats of the same age but there were increases with ageing in the fibronectin content of the thymic capsule, the connective tissue between the lobules, around blood vessels, and in the medulla and cortex of thymus. The connective-tissue content between lobules, fat cells, Hassall's corpuscles, the thickness of capsule and the ratio of the medulla to the cortex of the lobules showed age-dependent increases in the thymus of rats of both sexes. Decreases in the organ weight/body weight ratio were also observed with ageing.

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