The Effects of Thymectomy on Antibody Formation
In 1961, Archer and Pierce reported on severe impairment of antibody-forming capacity in rabbits, thymectomized at the age of 5 to 7 days and stimulated 5 to 8 weeks later by a single intravenous injection of bovine serum albumin (BSA). During 3 weeks following antigenic stimulation, no precipitating antibodies against BSA could be detected in the serum of a total of 7 thymectomized rabbits while 9 out of 11 sham- or nonoperated control animals exhibited normal precipitin responses. It was concluded that the thymus was necessary for the normal development of antibody-forming tissue in rabbits.
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