Immune suppression and histophysiology of the immune response
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Seven daily intramuscular (im) injections of cortisone acetate (25 mg/Kg b.w.) given to rats or rabbits produced, (i) a pronounced reduction in the numbers of small lymphocytes in thymus-independent areas, (ii) atrophy of the thymic cortex, (iii) atrophy of germinal centres and (iv) a consequent depressed production of germinal centre-derived cells.
Lymphocyte depletion was not caused by cell lysis. Moreover cell traffic between peripheral lymphoid organs did not seem to be altered. A revival of the depressed germinal centres in cortisone-treated (inbred) rats could be achieved by a transfer of bone-marrow cell suspensions from normal, cortisone-treated or T-cell-deprived animals.
It was concluded that cortisone acetate arrests the migration of B-lymphocytes from the bone marrow to germinal centres in peripheral lymphoid organs, and that the accumulations of lymphoid cells in the bone marrow of cortison-treated animals might be composed of immature or mature T- and B-lymphocytes.
Key wordsCorticosteroids Lymphoid cell migration Immune responsiveness Immune suppression
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