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Immunology. 1976 Jun;30(6):783-8.

Thymic hormone activity and spontaneous autoimmunity in dwarf mice and their littermates.


Serum thymic hormone activity (TA) was determined in hereditary hypopituitary dwarf mice (dw/dw) and their littermates (+/dw or +/+). It was found to be very low in the dwarf animals in comparison to their littermates. At 14 weeks of age, the dwarf littermates exhibited significant glomerular lesions characterized by deposits of IgG, IgG1, IgG2, IgA, IgM and C3, which were augmented by thymectomy of adult females. In contrast, hypopituitary dwarf mice had minimal glomerular deposits of immunoglobulins. Unlike these animals, their littermates showed antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and anti-deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) antibodies in their serum. The present findings are discussed in relation to recent hypotheses on: (1) the role of the hypophysis in thymus-dependent immunological functions; and (2) the significance of T-cell deficiency in the development of autoimmunity.

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