Cell preparations from visceral tumors and nerve lesions of chickens with Marek's disease (MD) were examined with antisera specific for avian T and B lymphocytes. In all instances examined, the large majority of lymphoid cells in the infiltrate were T lymphocytes, with only 3 to 10% of B lymphocytes present. It is suggested that the pathogenesis of this disease involves a T cell-mediated immunologic attack on virus-infected epithelial cells, analogous to that observed in lymphocytic choriomeningitis of mice.


This work was supported by research grants from the Australian Chicken Meat Research Council and the Rural Credits Division, Reserve Bank of Australia. Reprint requests to Dr. N. Warner, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, RMH, P.O. 3050, Melbourne, Australia. This is publication number 1761 from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

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