Although the fetal lamb is unable to form circulating antiovalbumin antibodies until about 120 days of gestation, ovalbumin-specific helper T cells can be stimulated to function at an earlier age. This would suggest that the critical event responsible for the precise sequential maturation of immunologic competence to different antigens at different developmental stages is not the first appearance of specific receptors on immunocytes. Alternative explanations of this phenomenon are discussed.

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