The unit gravity sedimentation technique was used to separate spleen cells from sevveral strains of mice. Settling patterns (plot of cell number against settling rate) were similar for BALB/c, DBA/2, C3H/He, and NZB/W mice of different ages. In particular, no subpopulation was found by this technique to be missing from the spleens of old NZB/W mice. A number of functional studies performed with the separated cells proved more informative than the settling patterns themselves. Fractions of cells which sedimented at a rate of between about 6 mm/hr and 10 mm/hr were enriched in responsiveness to PHA, Con A, and allogeneic cells. These fractions obtained from old NZB/W mice lacked such activities. However, the active fractions from young NZB/W spleens, which were enriched in θ-bearing cells, could restore the responsiveness of old NZB/W mice to primary immunization with sheep erythrocytes. These studies indicate that functional separation of spleen cells from NZB/W mice is possible and that activities lacking in whole spleens from old NZB/W mice are also lacking in the separate fractions. The ability to restore helper T cell function in old NZB/W mice with active fractions from young NZB/W mice has implications for further study and treatment of their autoimmune disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology