The thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes were studied in runt disease induced by a graft of intravenously injected homologous splenic cells into newborn rats and mice. Adult Long-Evans cells (70 x 106) were injected into Sprague-Dawley rats. Adult DBA cells (7 x 106) were injected into C57BL/6 mice. Runted rats were sacrificed at 14 to 28 days of age; mice at 10 to 20 days. The thymic cortex is depleted of small lymphocytes. Those remaining are severely damaged and phagocytized. Evidence of damage includes swelling of mitochondria, myelin figure formation, margination of chromatin, and sharp angulation in nuclear contour. Large numbers of macrophages are present. Epithelial-reticular cells which envelop small cortical blood vessels are often retracted, with the result that the most peripheral layer in the thymic-blood barrier suffers abnormally large gaps. Lymphocytes of the periarterial lymphatic sheaths of spleen and of the cortex of lymph nodes are reduced in number and damaged. Vast numbers of plasma cells and many lymphocytes are evident throughout lymph nodes, in the periarterial lymphatic sheaths, and in the marginal zone and red pulp of the spleen. Plasma cells are of different sizes, the larger having dilated sacs of endoplasmic reticulum. Lymphocytes are small to medium in size. They contain, in varying quantity, ribosomes and smooth membrane-bounded cytoplasmic vesicles approximately 350 to 500 A in diameter. Most plasma cells and lymphocytes are damaged and many of these are phagocytized. Many lymphocytes in lymph nodes, however, show no evidence of damage. Reticular cells and other fixed cells of the connective tissues seldom appear affected. Thus, the major cell types reacting in runt disease are lymphocytes, plasma cells, and histiocytes or macrophages. It appears, therefore, that both the delayed and immediate types of sensitivity play a part in this disease.

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