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In Search of the Hagfish Thymus

Holliston B. Riviere, Edwin L. Cooper, A. L. Reddy and William H. Hildemann
American Zoologist
Vol. 15, No. 1, Developmental Immunology (Winter, 1975), pp. 39-49
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3882269
Page Count: 11
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In Search of the Hagfish Thymus
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Abstract

The Pacific hagfish, Eptatretus stoutii, is capable of a variety of immunologic responses including allograft rejection and serum antibody production to soluble and cellular antigens. Interest has revived in the morphology of hagfish lymphoid tissues. The search for a thymus in young specimens has resulted in the discovery of a phagocytic and antigen-receptive cell population associated with the pharyngeal velar muscles. We suggest that a protothymus or precursor of the thymus of higher vertebrates may be contained within this velar muscle complex.

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