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Developmental Immunology
Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 85-95

Expression of MHC Class II Antigens During Xenopus Development

1Basel Institute for Immunology, Grenzacherstrasse 487, Basel CH-4058, Switzerland
2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 01690, Miami 33101, Florida, USA

Received 25 April 1990; Accepted 3 May 1990

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Larval and adult forms of the amphibian Xenopus differ in their MHC class II .expression. In tadpoles, class II epitopes can be detected by monoclonal antibodies only on B cells, macrophages (whatever their location), spleen reticulum, thymus epithelium, and the pharyngobuccal cavity. In contrast, all adult T cells express class II on their surface. The transitions in class II expression occur at metamorphosis and are accompanied by other changes. The skin is invaded by class II positive dendritic cells, and the skin glands differentiate and also express class II. The gut, which expressed class II in discrete areas of the embryonic tissue, becomes invaded with B cells, and its epithelium also becomes class II positive.