The equine spleen: An electron microscopic analysis

Fern Tablin, L. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The capacity of the equine spleen to store and rapidly release as much as half the circulating blood volume after adrenergic stimulation depends upon the size of the spleen, its muscular capsule, and the distinctive structure of its red pulp. The unit, or lobule, of red pulp is a cylinder of pulp spaces organized in a reticular meshwork, supplied by a peripheral ring of arterial capillaries, and drained by a central venule. Reticular cells, which make up the meshwork of the pulp, contain an extraordinarily large complement of microfilaments and intermediate filaments and are richly innervated by nerves containing both dense and lucent core vesicles typical of adrenergic nerves. The wall of the pulp venule contains large apertures. The capacious red pulp would thus appear capable both of large-scale blood storage and, by the contractile adrenergic innervated reticulum and open venous vasculature, of rapid expression of stored blood into the circulation. Antigen-presenting cells are present not only in B and T cell zones in white pulp but in the periarterial macrophage sheath of red pulp as well. The periarterial macrophage sheath is one of the first sites of antigen capture, and the presence of these cells confers on it an immunological role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-416
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Journal of Anatomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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