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Developmental Immunology
Volume 8 (2001), Issue 2, Pages 159-166

Peyer's Patches Are Precocious to the Appendix in Human Development

1Department of Zoology, R. T. Marg, Civil Lines, Nagpur 440 001, India
2Department of Zoology, Vidarbha Mahavidyalaya, Amravati, India

Copyright © 2001 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.


PP are first visible at 15.5 wk gestation after which there is a rapid spurt in the development and maturation of lymphoid follicles so that at any given point of time new foci of PP development are continuously formed at a rapid rate. Addition of rows of follicles results in the formation of a PP. Immature PP of younger fetuses have a spongy structure in contrast with the compact lymphoid follicles of mature PP of older fetuses. Immunocytochemical studies reveal that there is a subtle gradation in the expression of lymphocyte surface markers with increasing fetal age. Expression of antigenic markers occurs in an ordered sequence viz. HLA – DR, CD19 (B cell population), CD9 (pre-B cells), CD3 T lymphocytes, CD4 helper / inducer lymphocytes, the CD8 suppressor / cytotoxic cells and lastly, the CD57 Natural Killer cells. The antigens are expressed first on lymphocytes of PP and thereafter in those of the appendix. Our findings clearly demonstrate that the 5 wk fetal period from 17.5 wk to 22 wk represents a major growth phase in the development of surface markers of lymphocytes in the mucosal immune system of the gut.