Calorie restriction is known to preserve the immunologic function and prolong the life span of autoimmune-susceptible mice. In order to determine the influence of calorie restriction on cellular and humoral immunity, we tested lymphocyte proliferative response and antibody response to T-dependent antigens in C57Bl/6 mice maintained on restricted diets. C57Bl/6 mice fed a low-calorie diet demonstrated a marked reduction in T-dependent-antigen-specific lymphocyte proliferation and antibody response when compared to mice fed ad libitum. The depressed lymphocyte response seen in calorie-restricted animals is attributed to a defect in both the macrophages and T cells in antigen processing, presentation, and/or proliferation.
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