Studies on the Transplantation of Rabbit Yolk Sac

Wilson, Alan James (1976) Studies on the Transplantation of Rabbit Yolk Sac. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In an outbred mating the conceptus inherits part of its transplantation antigen complement from the paternal gamete. The conceptus is therefore allogenic in relation to its host the mother and should be subject to an allograft rejection response. The way in which the conceptus escapes this response constitutes one of the immunological problems of pregnancy. The conceptus is made up of the foetus surrounded by the foetal membranes. The foetus contains transplantation antigens and is immunogenic at an early stage in gestation. The arrangement of the foetal membranes varies in the different species of mammals. In many cases the only tissue which makes contact with the maternal tissues is trophoblast which in general does not undergo an allograft rejection response. The rabbit, mouse and guinea pig are unusual in that during gestation a membrane - the visceral yolk sac - which is made up of only mesodermal and endodermal cells, is brought into direct apposition to the maternal tissues. This particular feature was used to study the general question of whether foetal membranes other than trophoblast which are apposed to maternal tissues suffer an allograft rejection response. This study was designed to determine the immunogenicity of the visceral yolk sac and then to study the relationship between the yolk sac and the maternal tissues. The study is a continuation of the work of T.A. Andrew (1971). He studied the mouse visceral yolk sac which comes to lie in direct apposition to the maternal tissues at 15 days. He made grafts of excised visceral yolk sac into isogenic and allogenic hosts. His results indicated that the visceral yolk sac is destroyed by an allograft rejection response and that the membrane probably contains transplantation antigens as early as 10 days post coitum. In the rabbit the visceral yolk sac lies apposed to the maternal tissues at a relatively earlier stage in gestation (13 days) and the arrangement of the foetal membranes is different. The thesis is divided into two parts. In the first the relationship between the foetal membranes and the maternal tissues is examined both during development and in the definitive arrangement which exists from day 13 to the end of gestation. Scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy were used, but the former proved to be of little use. A few incidental findings have been included in the results. The second part describes the results obtained when visceral yolk sac was excised from the conceptuses of New Zealand white rabbits and transplanted to an ectopic site in coloured Dutch rabbits. The discussion aims to bring together these two sets of findings and to provide a theory as to how the visceral yolk sac of the rabbit escapes rejection during gestation.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Morphology
Date of Award: 1976
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1976-78788
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 14:54
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 14:54

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