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[Immunocompetence of newborn calves: evaluation of the proliferative response of lymphocytes in vitro to 3 nonspecific mitogens (concanavalin A, phytohemagglutinin, pokeweed mitogen) during the 1st 3 months of life].

[Article in French]


A micromethod technique was used to evaluate in vitro sensitivity of the peripheric bovine lymphocytes obtained from a newly born calf, up to 3 months of age to different non-specific mitogens: Phytohemagglutinin (PHA) Concanavaline A (Con A) and Pokeweed Mitogen (PWM). The results obtained show that the calf lymphocytes respond to the 3 mitogens by a considerable cellular proliferation. The blastogenic response was found at various levels during the first 3 months of life, and appeared to stabilize at levels similar to the adult bovine. Highly sensitive variations were noted in the lymphocyte reactivity, notably with PHA and Con A. These results seem to indicate the existence of periods of T cell immunodeficiency, not only during the first few days after birth, but throughout the first months of the calves' life. It may also be indicative of the interest of immunostimulant therapy during this period, which needs further investigation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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