Corticosteroids and the humoral immune response of mice. II. Enhancement of bone marrow antibody formation to lipopolysaccharide by high doses of corticosteroids

Benner, R.; van Oudenaren, A.

Cellular Immunology 48(2): 267-275


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-8749
PMID: 389442
Accession: 005063391

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The effect of injection of synthetic corticosteroid dexamethasone sodium phosphate upon the primary response to Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was studied in mouse spleen and bone marrow. Daily corticosteroid injections starting 1 day before immunization with LPS, could suppress the anti-LPS plaque-forming cell (PFC) response in the spleen. The higher the dose of corticosteroids, the more the splenic PFC response was suppressed. The bone marrow PFC response showed dose-dependent enhancement after corticosteroid injections. This effect was maximal when tested 7 days after antigen injection, and constituted a 3- to 15-fold increase after daily injection of 16 mg dexamethasone/kg body wt. The same effect was found in genetically athymic nude mice, showing that corticosteroid-mediated enhancement of the anti-LPS PFC response in the bone marrow is not due to elimination of T [thymus-derived] suppressor cells. The differential effect of corticosteroids upon antibody formation in spleen and bone marrow is probably due to redistribution of B [bone marrow-derived] lineage cells, with resulting accumulation in the bone marrow.