Age and genetic influence on immunity in NZB and autoimmune-Resistant mice

Gabriel Fernandes, Edmond J. Yunis, Robert A. Good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Studies and comparisons of longevity, incidence of autoimmune phenomena, and T-cell immunity functions at different ages in NZB, NZW, CBA, (NZB × NZW)F1, and (NZB × CBA)F1 mice are reported. Vigorous T-cell-mediated functions are present early in life but decline dramatically with aging during the second 6 months in NZB and (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. By contrast, long-lived CBA and (NZB × CBA)F1 mice did not show the sharply declining vigor of T-cell immunity functions present in the short-lived mouse strains. NZW mice generally had well preserved T-cell-mediated function longer than did NZB or (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. Quantitatively, the decline of T-cell immunity functions in the autoimmune susceptible strains did not correlate with the loss or decrease of θ or Thy-1 positive cells. Discrepancies in declining vigor of T-cell immunity functions and responses between spleen and lymph node cells were observed. The lymph node lymphocytes often showed surprisingly vigorous capacity to induce graft-versus-host (GVH) reactions and vigorous proliferative responses to the mitogen PHA at a time when these functions had completely or virtually disappeared from the spleen lymphocytes. Killer-cell activities directed toward four different allogeneic tumor cell models were also investigated. These studies also revealed a pattern of early development and rapid loss of T-killer-cell functions in NZB and (NZB × NZW)F1 mice. These patterns of development and decline of T-cells and T-cell-mediated functions in mice of these several strains are considered in terms of the nature of the control and regulation of T-cell functions and the genetic basis of the control of these functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-333
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology


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