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Genes Immun. 2007 Apr;8(3):262-74. Epub 2007 Mar 8.

Splenic and immune alterations of the Sparc-null mouse accompany a lack of immune response.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Barbara Jane Levy Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology, Hermelin Brain Tumor Center, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.


Sparc-null mice have been used as models to assess tumor-host immune cell interactions. However, it is not known if they have a competent immune system. In this study, the immune systems of Sparc wild-type and null mice were compared. Mice were assessed for differences in total body weight, spleen weight and spleen-to-body weight ratios. Spleens were compared with respect to morphology, and Sparc, Ki-67, MOMA-1 and IgM expression. Immune cells in blood, bone marrow and spleen were assessed by blood smears, automated blood panel, and flow cytometry. Additionally, the ability of Sparc-null mice to respond to immune challenge was evaluated using a footpad model. The morphological and immunohistochemical results indicated that Sparc-null spleens had more white pulp, hyperproliferative B cells in the germinal centers, and decreased marginal zones. Sparc-null spleens lacked normal Sparc expression in red and white pulp, marginal zones, endothelial and sinusoidal cells. By flow analysis, B cells were decreased and T cells were increased in the bone marrow. Finally, Sparc-null mice were unable to mount an immune response following footpad lipopolysaccharide challenge. These data confirm that Sparc-null mice have an impaired immune system.

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