The primary role of the avian bursa of Fabricius is to provide an essential microenvironment for B-lymphocytes to diversify their immunoglobulin genes by gene hyperconversion. Infectious bursal disease (IBD) vaccination using intermediate plus vaccine strains can temporarily deplete the bursal follicles and interrupt the normal B-cell development, which is generally followed by B-cell repopulation and histological regeneration. To find evidence that functional restoration of the bursa of Fabricius occurs in addition to the histological regeneration, we have analysed the chB1 gene expression, which indicates active bursal B-lymphocytes, and also the surface expression of a carbohydrate structure Lewisx, a marker which identifies those bursal B-lymphocytes that are undergoing gene hyperconversion. In ovo vaccination with an immune complex vaccine (IBDV-BDA) caused transient bursal destruction in both the SPF and the maternally protected broiler groups with differences evident in the starting time, the severity and the duration of the effect. After the depletion phase, signs of histological regeneration appeared together with chB1- and Lewisx expression indicating that B-lymphocytes were functionally active and the bursa of Fabricius was serving again as an efficient primary lymphoid organ providing an appropriate microenvironment for B-cell development.
- ChB1 gene expression
- Chicken bursa of Fabricius
- Functional restoration
- Immune complex vaccine (IBDV-BDA)
- In ovo vaccination
- Infectious bursal disease (IBD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas