Studies of congenitally immunologically mutant New Zealand mice. IV. Development of autoimmunity in congenitally athymic (nude) New Zealand Black x White F 1 hybrid mice

M. Eric Gershwin, Y. Ohsugi, A. Ahmed, J. J. Castles, R. Scibienski, R. M. Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Colonies of congenitally athymic (nude) New Zealand Black x White F 1 (NZB/W) as well as heterozygote nu/+ littermate controls were generated by the mating of NZB nu/+ x NZW nu/+ mice. Female nude and nu/+ NZB/W mice were monitored with age for the appearance of NTA, and antibodies to red cells and native DNA. Additionally, other groups of mice were sacrificed, and the frequency of lymphoid cell subpopulations was quantitated by determining the number of thy1.2+ cells, surface Ig+, and the cells bearing the receptor for C3. Further, the ability of spleen cells to form B cell colonies and respond to the mitogens, Con A, PHA-P, and LPS was quantitated. In addition, the splenic response to SRBC, pneumococcal polysaccharide (SSS III), native DNA, and Poly I.Poly C was determined. Nude and nu/+ NZB/W mice develop spontaneous antibodies to nucleic acids and red cells at approximately the same time; NTA was produced significantly earlier in nude mice. However, the titer of antibodies to DNA was significantly increased in nude NZB/W animals and contributed to increased proteinuria, accelerated glomerulonephritis, and increased mortality compared to nu/+ littermates. Nude NZB/W mice fail to mount a response to the thymic-dependent antigen SRBC, but do have a marked increase in their response to native DNA, Poly I-Poly C, and pneumococcal polysaccharide. Similarly, there was an increased frequency of B cell clones in NZB/W mice; however, this elevation was of comparable frequency in nude and nu/+ littermates. It is concluded that nude NZB/W mice develop immunopathology at the same age as their nu/+ controls, but have enhanced responses to both self (native DNA) and synthetic (SSS III and Poly I. Poly C) antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1195
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this