Protective immunity to Listeria monocytogenes in neonatally thymectomized (NTx) mice: Involvement of T cells distinct from those in sham-thymectomized mice

Y. Watanabe, M. Mitsuyama, T. Koga, T. Handa, Y. Yoshikai, K. Nomoto

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    Neonatally thymectomized (NTx) mice, whose ability to mount antigen-specific cell-mediated immunity is reported to be generally defective, were found to be capable of mounting a normal level of acquired cellular resistance (ACR) and delayed footpad reaction (DFR) to Listeria monocytogenes. The present study was done in order to determine the functional differences of T cells contributing to the protection against L. monocytogenes between NTx and sham-operated mice. In mice immunized with viable L. monocytogenes, the absolute number of splenic T cells was significantly lower in NTx mice compared with sham-operated mice. When the ability of immune T cells to transfer ACR and DFR was examined by passive transfer, lymphocytes from immune NTx mice conferred a higher level of ACR and DFR on naive recipient mice, despite the marked difference in total number of T cells compared with immune Sham mice. Antigen-specific proliferation and interleukin-2 (IL-2) production by splenic T cells from immune NTx mice were significantly lower than in those from immune Sham mice. The proliferative response of T cells to exogenous IL-2 was also lower in NTx group. These results suggest that the requirement for the IL-2-driven T-cell proliferation system is basically low in the generation of effector T cells specific for L. monocytogenes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)649-655
    Number of pages7
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1988


    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology

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