Following the injection of various antigenic and non-antigenic materials into the foot-pads of rabbits, the draining (popliteal) lymph nodes were removed on successive days and studied histologically, chemically, and serologically. On the 2nd day after injection of antigen, nucleoli and cytoplasmic granules and crescents stained with pyronine began to appear. They were found first in somewhat altered reticulum cells, later in transitional forms, then in young lymphocytes, and finally in more mature lymphocytes. The identity of this pyronine-stained material as ribonucleic acid was demonstrated by specific digestion with protease-free ribonuclease.
The concentration of ribonucleic acid was determined in aqueous extracts of the lymph nodes. It was observed that the concentration had risen to more than twice its normal value by the 2nd to 5th day following the injection of antigens into the foot, and then it declined. The peak of this change occurred at or slightly before the appearance of the maximal concentration of antibodies in the same node.
Non-antigenic materials, when injected into the foot, did not give rise to an increase in the ribonucleic acid content of the lymph node.
The concentration of desoxyribonucleic acid was constant in all lymph nodes, within the limits of experimental variation.