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Exp Physiol. 2002 Jan;87(1):69-75.

Spermine induces precocious development of the spleen in mice.

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Department of Human Histology, University of Liège, Rue de Pitteurs, 20, B-4020 Liège, Belgium.


Spermine is a low molecular weight polyamine involved in the postnatal maturation of the gut. When it is administered orally to suckling rats, it induces maturation of the intestinal tract (liver, pancreas and small intestine). Here we show that this polyamine is able to induce precocious intestinal and splenic development in suckling mice. In fact, in 15-day-old mice which had received spermine orally twice daily for 3 days we observed an increase in the ratio of white pulp surface to total spleen surface in comparison with untreated mice. The two macrophage subsets of the marginal zone and the B-cell population were more developed and reached the development level of 5- or 10-week-old mice. The proliferation rate of B-cells was increased by spermine administration to pups. These observations suggest that spermine might play a role in immune system development; further investigation of its effects are intended, namely the evaluation of its capacity to enhance defence during the neonatal period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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