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Effects of Sublethal Gamma Radiation on T and B Cell Activity in the Antibody Response of Mice

Donald E. Carlson and Ronald A. Lubet
Radiation Research
Vol. 65, No. 1 (Jan., 1976), pp. 111-119
DOI: 10.2307/3574291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3574291
Page Count: 9
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Effects of Sublethal Gamma Radiation on T and B Cell Activity in the Antibody Response of Mice
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Abstract

The relative radiosensitivity of T and B cells was followed in sublethally irradiated mice reconstituted with bone marrow cells, thymus cells, or both, and simultaneously challenged with sheep erythrocytes. Numbers of antibody-forming cells in recipient spleens were determined on days 4-8. In this assay the response of mice given bone marrow cells was limited by the amount of residual T cell activity, while the response of mice given thymus cells was limited by the residual B cell activity. Although residual activity of both T and B cells was suppressed in mice given 300-700 rad at 80 rad/min, residual B cell activity was consistently lower in these animals. When antibody responses were initiated at intervals after irradiation, B cell activity was clearly limiting by 48 hr after 500 or 600 rad. The activity of both T and B cells was sensitive to differences in dose rate between 8 and 80 rad/min. The 4-7 fold dose-rate sensitivity of T cells paralleled that of differentially irradiated nonreconstituted mice. In contrast, dose-rate dependence of B cell activity varied from 10- to 20-fold between 8 and 80 rad/min. These results suggest that radiation suppression of antibody responses in mice is highly dependent upon B cell sensitivity, and that dose-rate dependence of the antibody response may be explained in large part by differential sensitivity of B cells.

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