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Effect of thymectomy on formation of immunologic tolerance in delayed-type hypersensitivity effectors

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The effect of thymectomy on the formation of tolerance of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) to sheep's red blood cells was investigated. If tolerance was induced by combined injection of a massive dose of antigen and cyclophosphamide, thymectomy did not prevent this process and prolonged the state of tolerance. If area activity was induced by a massive dose of antigen alone, thymectomy restored the ability to form DTH and prevented the formation of suppressor cells. Thymetome weakened DTH formation somewhat in intact animals, but not in animals receiving cyclophosphamide. The results confirm views regarding the diversity of the mechanism of tolerance (clonal-deficiency and suppressor). It is also suggested that among DTH effectors and their precursors there are two subpopulations which differ in their sensitivity to cyclophosphamide and thymectomy.

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Chernousov, A.D., Fontalin, L.N., Akopyan, N.G. et al. Effect of thymectomy on formation of immunologic tolerance in delayed-type hypersensitivity effectors. Bull Exp Biol Med 88, 1153–1156 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00838192

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Key Words

  • immunologic tolerance
  • delayed-type hypersensitivity
  • cyclophosphamide
  • thymectomy
  • suppressor cells