Experimental arthritis in thymectomized rats with an impaired humoral immune response

Vanda A Lennon, W. J. Byrd

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Abstract

Induction of adjuvant arthritis was observed in rats subjected to neonatal thymectomy, but not in sham thymectomized rats. In experiments designed primarily to assess the role of thymus derived (T) lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), it appeared that T lymphocytes (and associated cell mediated immunity) are not solely responsible for the pathogenesis of adjuvant induced arthritis. Thus the following mechanism is suggested to explain the high incidence of arthritis in thymectomized animals. With reduced numbers of T lymphocytes, the decreased capacity to produce antibody to certain 'thymus dependent' antigens may lead to the formation of complexes of antigen and antibody with antigen in excess; such complexes are unsuitable for elimination from the circulation and furthermore are capable of mediating immune damage to tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-40
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume244
Issue number5410
StatePublished - 1973
Externally publishedYes

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