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J Exp Med. Jul 1, 1967; 126(1): 109–125.
PMCID: PMC2138307

RESISTANCE OF LONG-LIVED LYMPHOCYTES AND PLASMA CELLS IN RAT LYMPH NODES TO TREATMENT WITH PREDNISONE, CYCLOPHOSPHAMIDE, 6-MERCAPTOPURINE, AND ACTINOMYCIN D

Abstract

The cells of the popliteal lymph nodes of rats were labeled for 4 days after a secondary immunological stimulus. 31 days after the last dose of tritiated thymidine, groups of rats were started on courses of daily, intraperitoneal injections of prednisone, cyclophosphamide, 6-mercaptopurine, or actinomycin D. The initially low doses of these agents were doubled in successive weeks until either lymphoid hypoplasia or death occurred. Rats from each group were killed weekly, and the percentages of persisting, labeled small lymphocytes in the popliteal nodes were determined. Sections of these nodes were examined for persisting, labeled plasma cells. The per cent of lymphocytes labeled increased while the total number of lymphocytes decreased during treatment with prednisone and cyclophosphamide. Prednisone decreased the numbers of long-lived plasma cells, but these cells were preferentially resistant to cyclophosphamide. Neither 6-mercaptopurine nor actinomycin D had an appreciable effect on lymphoid tissues histologically nor on the proportions of labeled, long-lived lymphocytes and plasma cells before causing the deaths of the rats receiving them. These results indicate that long-lived lymphocytes and plasma cells survive treatment with the immunolytic drugs studied, and that long-lived lymphocytes are specifically resistant to prednisone and cyclophosphamide. We believe these results have an application to the attempts to find drugs useful in the treatment of immunologic rejections of organ transplants, and for therapy of autoimmune diseases.

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Selected References

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