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Title:The role of the thymus in the enhancement of humoral immunity by estrogen
Author(s):Erbach, Gregory Thomas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bahr, Janice M.
Department / Program:Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Discipline:Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Biology, Animal Physiology
Health Sciences, Immunology
Abstract:Previous investigators have observed that estrogen enhances humoral immune responsiveness. The goal of this thesis has been to establish a physiological in vivo model in which to study this phenomenon and to characterize the role of the thymus as its mediator. An immunizing dose of 0.25 mg fluorescein conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin was found to distinguish between the anti-fluorescein responses of ovariectomized adult Lewis rats with and without estrogen replacement. This dose of immunogen was then administered to adult ovariectomized rats given physiological estrogen replacement by means of chronic subcutaneous implant and of subcutaneous injections every four days, in a factorial fashion. The four-day injection regimen of estradiol exposure, which replicates the levels and profile of serum estradiol of the rat estrous cycle, exerted a greater immunoenhancing influence than the chronic estradiol implant treatment. The cyclic regimen of estrogen replacement was used to test by factorial design the effect of thymectomy against estradiol administration in enhancing anti-fluorescein titers. It was determined that an intact thymus is required for the enhancement of in vivo humoral immune responsiveness to be observed, although receptors for estrogen in thymic tissue, when sought, could not be found. It was then determined by replacing factorially estradiol and thymosin fraction 5 (1 mg/Kg) in ovariectomized-thymectomized adult rats that estrogen increased anti-fluorescein titers only in animals given thymosin injections. These studies conclude that the thymus does not directly mediate enhanced humoral immune responsiveness by estrogen, but permits this effect of estrogen by the provision of a constitutive factor which is a component of thymosin fraction 5.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Erbach, Gregory Thomas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9010853
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9010853

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