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J Neuroimmunol. 1994 Jan;49(1-2):77-87.

Sympathetic nervous system modulation of the immune system. III. Alterations in T and B cell proliferation and differentiation in vitro following chemical sympathectomy.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester School of Medicine, NY 14642.


Functional changes in lymph node (LN) and spleen lymphocytes were examined following sympathetic denervation of adult mice with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Sympathectomy reduced in vitro proliferation to concanavalin A (ConA) by LN cells and decreased LN Thy-1+ and CD4+ T cells. At the same time, ConA-induced interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production was increased, but interleukin-2 (IL-2) production was not altered. After sympathectomy, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated proliferation of LN B cells was enhanced, in parallel with an increase in the proportion of sIgM+ cells. LPS-induced polyclonal IgM secretion was decreased, whereas polyclonal IgG secretion was dramatically enhanced. In the spleen, ConA and LPS responsiveness was reduced after sympathectomy, as was IL-2 and IFN-gamma production. The decreased proliferation was not associated with changes in splenic T and B cell populations. The uptake blocker desipramine prevented the 6-OHDA-induced changes in spleen and LN, indicating that these alterations were dependent upon neuronal destruction. These results provide evidence for heterogeneity of sympathetic nervous system regulation of T and B lymphocyte function and for organ-specific influences on immune function.

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