Anti-μ induces lymphoma in germfree congenitally athymic (nude) but not in heterozygous (nu/+) mice

M. Eric Gershwin, Y. Ohsugi, J. J. Castles, R. M. Ikeda, B. Ruebner

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10 Scopus citations


To further our understanding of the role of host immunity in the development of lymphoid neoplasia, groups of germfree BALB/c nude and nu/+ mice were either followed unmanipulated or were treated, beginning at birth, with anti-μ, normal goat IgG or with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The survival and development of neoplasia of all groups of animals were monitored up to 2 yr. Nude mice, under germfree and specific pathogen-free (spf) conditions, had a higher incidence of lymphoid neoplasia and reduced survival when compared to nu/+ littermates. The incidence of lymphoid tumors in nude mice under spf or germfree conditions was 7.2 and 8.7%, respectively, in comparison to 0% in nu/+ animals. Treatment of germfree nude mice with anti-μ, but not with goat IgG, increased the incidence of lymphoid tumors to 39%. Anti-μ did not significantly change the incidence of lymphoid neoplasia in nu/+ animals. Treatment of nu/nu and nu/+ mice with LPS, however, led to a several-fold increase in the appearance of neoplasia, to values of 25.4% in nude and 10% in nu/+ mice. Lymphoid neoplasia found in either unmanipulated, anti-μ, or IgG-treated germfree or spf mice included Thy-1.2+, surface IgM+, and IgG+ tumors. In contrast, all the lymphomas found in LPS-treated mice were surface IgM+. Thus, whereas LPS may have generated a relatively homogeneous group of tumors, anti-μ may have randomly increased the normal incidence of spontaneous tumors. Moreover, although there was significant variation in the histologic appearance of tumors, both within treatment groups as well as in different areas of the same animal, only LPS-treated mice were regularly noted to have distant nonlymphoid involvement, with lesions found in liver, lung, and kidney. In contrast, the incidence of nonlymphoid neoplasia was similar and was less than 2.5% in all groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2069-2073
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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