Immunological Reconstitution of Neonatally Thymectomized Rats Following Implantation of Thymic Epithelial Cells

  • J. I. Willis
  • R. L. St. Pierre
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 73)


Experimental neonatal thymectomy in rodents has profoundly deleterious effects on the immune system. These include histological depletion of lymphoid tissues, decrease in circulating lymphocyte numbers, and defective immune functions (16). Of the immunological defects appearing after thymectomy, cell-mediated immune responses including transplantation immunity and delayed hypersensitivity reactions are affected to the greatest degree, although some humoral immune responses (i.e. sheep red blood cells) are also impaired. These effects are attributed to a depletion of thymus-derived (T) lymphocytes. The thymus has thus been shown to play an essential role in the development and maintenance of an intact immune system.


Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction Thymic Epithelial Cell Kidney Capsule Thymic Epithelial Grand Island Biological 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. I. Willis
    • 1
  • R. L. St. Pierre
    • 1
  1. 1.The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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