Localization of estrogen receptor in the central lymphoid organs of chickens during the late stage of embryogenesis

Masafumi Katayama, Tomokazu Fukuda, Kiyoaki Narabara, Asaki Abe, Yasuhiro Kondo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Immunological function in chicks is greatly affected by estrogen treatment during embryogenesis, but the mechanism of the estrogen effect is not fully understood. To elucidate the effect of estrogen on immune function, we observed estrogen receptor expression in the thymus and bursa of chick embryos by immunohistochemistry. We compared the distribution of estrogen receptorpositive cells with that of keratin-positive epithelial cells. Intense expression of estrogen receptors was detected in thymic and bursal lymphocytes. In peripheral lymphocytes, ER mRNA was detected by RT-PCR analysis. The results of fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis indicated that the estrogen receptor was expressed in the cytoplasm of the lymphocytes. Furthermore, intense expression of the estrogen receptor was also confirmed in thymic Hassall's corpuscles, bursal follicle-associated epithelial cells, and the bursal interfollicular epithelium. Our results indicate that estrogen affects the differentiation of thymic and bursal lymphocytes, suggesting that the underlying role for estrogen in immune function.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2003-2007
    Number of pages5
    JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Chick embryo
    • Estrogen receptor
    • FAE
    • Hassall's corpuscle
    • Lymphocyte

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Analytical Chemistry
    • Biochemistry
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
    • Molecular Biology
    • Organic Chemistry


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