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J Comp Physiol B. 1997 May;167(4):256-63.

Changes in selected aspects of immune function in the leopard frog, Rana pipiens, associated with exposure to cold.

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Department of EPO Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309, USA.


The effect of exposure to low temperatures (5 degrees C) on lymphocyte proliferation, leukocyte populations, and serum complement levels was examined in the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. Proliferation of T lymphocytes in response to phytohemagglutinin stimulation was significantly decreased in frogs kept for 2, 3, and 5 months at 5 degrees C compared to that of animals kept at 22 degrees C. A significant increase in the average percentage of neutrophils and a decrease in the mean percentage of eosinophils was observed in the blood of frogs held for 5 months in the cold compared to animals held at 22 degrees C for the same length of time. Mean serum complement activity after 1 month at 5 degrees C was significantly reduced in comparison to animals held at 22 degrees C and was not detectable after 5 months in the cold. Recovery of complement levels at room temperature (22 degrees C) was also examined after cold exposure. Complement levels were significantly higher than controls (at 22 degrees C) in frogs returned to 22 degrees C for 7 and 14 days after 5 months in the cold. After frogs were held at 5 degrees C for 1 month, serum complement levels increased significantly within 2 days after returning to 22 degrees C and continued to rise 5 and 9 days after warming. Injections with Aeromonas hydrophila following a 5-week exposure to 5 degrees C failed to cause death or observable symptoms of disease in frogs that were returned to 22 degrees C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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