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J Neuroimmunol. 1998 Dec 1;92(1-2):9-21.

L-deprenyl-induced increase in IL-2 and NK cell activity accompanies restoration of noradrenergic nerve fibers in the spleens of old F344 rats.

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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester School of Medicine, NY 14642, USA.


Previously, we have hypothesized a causal relationship between some measures of immunosenescence and the age-related decline in sympathetic noradrenergic (NA) nerve fibers in spleen and lymph nodes of F344 rats. In the present study, we investigated this interrelationship further by measuring NK cell activity, Con A-induced IL-2 production, norepinephrine (NE) concentration, and morphological localization of NA and neuropeptide-Y (NPY) nerve fibers in the spleens of old (21 months old) male F344 rats after 10 weeks of daily treatment with low doses of L-deprenyl, an irreversible monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor, followed by a 9-day wash-out period. NK cell activity and Con A-induced IL-2 production were increased in deprenyl-treated old rats in comparison to untreated and saline-treated old rats. Deprenyl treatment did not alter the percentage of CD5+ T-cells, but moderately increased the percentage of sIgM+ B-cells in the spleens of old rats. In addition to changes in immune responses, NE content and the volume density of NA and NPY nerve fibers were partially augmented in the spleens of deprenyl-treated old rats. In a separate study, various concentrations of deprenyl were added in vitro to spleen cells from young and old F344 rats to examine the direct effects of the drug on Con A-induced IL-2 production. In contrast to in vivo treatment, in vitro addition of deprenyl did not alter the Con A-induced IL-2 production by splenocytes from old rats. Together, these results suggest that the ability of deprenyl to enhance certain immune responses are interlinked to the restoration of sympathetic NA and NPY nerve fibers in the spleens of old rats.

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