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Unique characterisation of Langerhans cells in the spleen of the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

Zaghloul, Doaa M.; Derbalah, Amira; Rutland, Catrin S.

Unique characterisation of Langerhans cells in the spleen of the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) Thumbnail


Doaa M. Zaghloul

Amira Derbalah

Catrin S. Rutland


The African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) has increasingly become an economically important food source especially in Africa, Asia and Europe, with exports extending to countries throughout the world. In the last 25 years, aquaculture of this species has been particularly effective with large increases in production and this is in part due to the catfish being highly resistant to disease. In order to further understand the immune system of the catfish, the spleen was investigated using a number of staining, immunohistochemical, light and transmission electron microscope techniques in order to verify the histological features of this organ. The gross histological features of the spleen confirmed the presence of a capsule containing numerous collagen fibers surrounded the spleen of the African catfish. Melanomacrophage centers, lymphocytes and surrounding arterial vessels were the main components of the white pulp whilst the red pulp contained sinusoids, capillaries and splenic cords of erythrocytes, macrophages and lymphocytes. Transmission electron microscopy identified Langerhans-like cells which were irregular to ovoid in shape with an electron lucent cytoplasm. The cells were characterized by the presence of numerous Birbeck-like granules, varying in shape from oval, round, rod to racket shaped granules. In total, three types of Birbeck-like granules were identified. The first type had heterogenic content, the second type were cored granules and the third type were racket shaped granules. Some of the racket shaped granules were enlarged and contained granular content. The Langerhans-like cells were further identified and characterised by showing a positive reaction with antibodies to S100 and CD1a. The existence of Langerhans-like cells within the spleen helps to identify the components of the immune system within the African catfish.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2017
Publication Date Jul 21, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 26, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 26, 2017
Journal Matters
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Cat Fish, Langerhans-Like Cells, Spleen, Ultrastructure, Cd1a
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