The effect of zinc deficiency (Zn-) on the circulating thymic hormone (FTS) levels in A/J mice was studied. After 3 weeks of feeding the mice a Zn- diet, FTS levels were markedly reduced and after 17 weeks, FTS was undetectable. By contrast, the zinc-supplemented (Zn+) group seemed to maintain FTS levels better than the normal diet group with aging. On the other hand, spleen spontaneous rosette-forming cells (sRFC) were studied for their azathioprine (AZ) sensitivity in A/J mice on different diets. The Zn- mice had fewer sRFC than did the normally fed or Zn+ mice. The role of zinc in controlling levels of FTS and thus thymic function is discussed.
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