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Control of Size and Shape in the Rodent Thymus

  • D. Bellamy

Abstract

Since the pioneer work of Selye (1) on the initiation of thymic involution by the administration of adrenocortical extracts, many studies have been made to clarify the role of adrenocortico-steroids on the life-cycle of thymic lymphocytes. (2–9) It was soon established that cortisol-type steroids caused the death of lymphocytes in suspension and that their relative toxicity in vitro matched their thymolytic potency in vivo. (10–15) Although suspensions of lymphocytes are still used for biochemical work on the action of corticosteroids, with the tacit assumption that all lymphocytes are identical, (16) the cytotoxic action on suspended cells appears to involve interactions between two distinct lymphocyte populations. (17) Further the involution of intact thymus after single injections of Cortisol occurs with a complicated shift in proportions of the various cell-types, with the likelihood that some aspects of the total cellular response are of an indirect nature. (18) Despite much work on the acute response to Cortisol, little has been carried out on changes in the thymus following the chronic administration of corticosteroids. Information on the effects of long-term treatment with corticosteroids is important in relation to the possible selection of a population of lymphocytes resistant to steroids.

Keywords

Lymphocyte Population Thymic Involution Cortisol Treatment Thymic Lymphocyte Compensatory Proliferation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Bellamy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity CollegeCardiffUK

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