The Effect of Bacillus Calumette-Guerin on the Humoral Immune Response in Mice
Johannessen, Lynne C.
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The effect of priming with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) on the magnitude of direct plaque-forming cell (dPFC) response to thymus-derived (T) cell-independent and T cell-dependent antigens in athymic nude and heterozygous nude mice was measured. Immunization of both BCG and antigen in the right hind foot pad resulted in an enhanced response in the popliteal lymph node. This enhanced response occurred only in the heterozygote and only with T cell-dependent antigens. A decreased splenic dPFC response to T cell-dependent and T cell-independent antigens was elicited in both nude and heterozygous nude mice. Organ cell counts were significantly higher in BCG-primed animals as compared to unprimed controls. Splenic suppression was not dependent on the dose of BCG administered and could not be elicited using an inoculum of killed BCG although the enhancement witnessed in the lymph node was maintained. These findings suggest the presence of a suppressive factor which is limited to the spleen and whose effect is not dependent on the presence of thymus-derived cells.