Relationship between age and thymic function in the development of leukemia in AKR mice

R. J. Gershwin, M. Eric Gershwin, A. D. Steinberg, A. Ahmed, T. Ochiai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


AKR mice develop spontaneously lymphocytic leukemia and are a model for the study of murine leukemia virus. Although the virus is present in the thymus before birth, disease is not manifest until the mice are at least 6 mth old. Beginning at that age, frank lymphoid infiltrates develop in most parenchymal organs, often with a thymoma and marked lymphocytosis. Despite this characteristic latency period, growth of transplanted syngeneic thymomas occurred equally well in 4 wk as 28 wk old recipient AKR mice. Repetitive grafting of thymic tissue from 4 wk donors into AKR mice 8 wk or 6 mth old at initiation of study failed to retard leukemogenesis. This result is contrary to the hypothesis that the latent period for leukemia in AKR mice is produced by thymic suppressor cells in young AKR mice. Further, transplantation of 6 mth thymic tissue into either 8 wk or 6 mth recipients accelerated disease. There was a progressive loss of responsiveness to phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A in AKR mice with age. The responsiveness to mitogens during frank leukemia was similar to that described in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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