A comparison of Mott cell morphology of three avian species. II. - Bad behavior by plasmacytes?

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Mott cells are atypical plasmacytes recognized microscopically by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) distensions (Russell bodies) a result of retained secretory product (antibody). Originally associated with parasitism, they are observed in a broad spectrum of immunopathology, sometimes involving hypergammaglobulinemia. Few descriptions of Mott cells appear in avian literature. The purpose of the manuscript is to provide examples identified by light microscopy in three poultry species. Transmission electron micrographs (TEM) of plasmacytes from the turkey oviduct mucosa are included for comparison with Mott cell light microscopic images. Wright's stained blood and bone marrow from commercial and specific pathogen free (SPF) chickens, ducks, and turkeys are the sources. Mott cell positive samples commonly occurred with leukocytosis or leukemoid reactions, polymicrobial bacteremia, and fungemia. Atypical granulocytes and leukocytes regularly accompanied Mott cells. It is proposed that circulating Mott cells are “sentinels” indicative of stress, dyscrasia, and pathology. Moreover, Mott cells, like other atypia, complicate the interpretation of simple heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratios. As Mott cells are defective plasmacytes these observations address hematology, immunology, pathology, and welfare issues.

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