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Brain Behav Immun. 1991 Dec;5(4):349-56.

Behavioral conditioning prolongs heart allograft survival in rats.

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Transplantation Laboratory, Royal Newcastle Hospital, NSW, Australia.


Conditioned immunosuppression using a taste aversion paradigm has been demonstrated in a number of laboratory models but few reports have demonstrated changes in immunity sufficient to be of clinical relevance. The experiments reported here demonstrate that the survival of heart allografts in rats can be prolonged by behaviorally conditioned immunosuppression using cyclosporin A (CsA) as an unconditioned stimulus in taste aversion conditioning. Conditioned animals received saccharin as the conditioned stimulus paired with an injection of CsA at 10 and 6 days prior to transplantation. They were reexposed to saccharin alone 1 day prior to and 3 days after transplantation. On these occasions the conditioned group displayed taste aversion behavior when offered saccharin and a significant prolongation of heart graft survival was observed compared to the conditioned and nonconditioned control groups. These experiments suggest that behaviorally conditioned immunosuppression may have important clinical implications as an adjunct to drug treatments in transplantation medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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