Cellular immune response of a marsupial, Monodelphis domestica

Anthony J. Infante, Nancy K. Samples, Denise A. Croix, Todd S. Redding, John L. VandeBerg, William H. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Marsupials are interesting subjects for studies of comparative and developmental immunology because they separated from eutherian mammals over 100 million years ago and because the newborns are still in a fetal state. We studied cellular immunity in a fully pedigreed colony of the marsupial, M. domestica (commonly called the gray short-tailed opossum). Peripheral blood lymphocytes were separated on nylon wool columns into adherent cells bearing surface immunoglobulin (B cells) and nonadherent cells (T cells) recovered in the ratio of 1:3. Peripheral blood lymphocytes responded by proliferation to Con A and other mitogens. Nonadherent cells were responsive to Con A, but adherent cells were not. Peripheral blood lymphocytes were stimulated weakly or not at all by allogeneic or xenogeneic (mouse) cells in mixed lymphocyte culture. Despite the weak MLC response, which was not due to genetic homogeneity, allogeneic and xenogeneic tail skin grafts were rejected promptly. These data suggest that the cellular immune response of M. domestica is similar to that of eutherian mammals with the notable exception of weak MLC responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Allografts
  • Comparative immunity
  • MHC
  • Mixed lymphocyte reaction
  • Monodelphis domestica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology


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