Studies of immunological function in mice with defective androgen action. Distinction between alterations in immune function due to hormonal insensitivity and alterations due to other genetic factors

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Abstract

The presence of androgen receptors in thymocytes and the well-described effects of exogenous androgens on thymus size suggest a role for androgenic hormones in thymocyte growth and maturation. Testicular feminization (Tfm/Y) mice which bear a heritable defect in the androgen receptor protein were studied to investigate how androgens might influence immune phenotype and function. These mice were compared to two types of controls; their Tabby/Y normal male littermates and male mice of the C57 B1/6 strain from which the Tabby and Tfm mice were derived. Thymuses and spleens from Tfm/Y mice were larger than both types of controls. Phenotypic differences in thymocyte and splenocyte subpopulations identified by the T-cell markers CD3, CD4 and CD8 suggested that T-cell maturation was altered in the androgen-resistant animal. However, both Ta/Y and Tfm/Y were found to be high producers of interleukin-4 (IL-4) by both spleen and thymus cells, while cells from the C57 mice produced predominantly IL-2. These findings suggest that some immunological features of the Tfm/Y mouse may be related to its defect in androgen action, but that high levels of IL-4 production are probably related to other genetic changes in the C57 background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalImmunology
Volume73
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

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Androgens
Thymocytes
Thymus Gland
Androgen Receptors
Interleukin-4
Spleen
Androgen-Insensitivity Syndrome
T-Lymphocytes
Interleukin-2
Hormones
Phenotype
Growth
Proteins

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

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title = "Studies of immunological function in mice with defective androgen action. Distinction between alterations in immune function due to hormonal insensitivity and alterations due to other genetic factors",
abstract = "The presence of androgen receptors in thymocytes and the well-described effects of exogenous androgens on thymus size suggest a role for androgenic hormones in thymocyte growth and maturation. Testicular feminization (Tfm/Y) mice which bear a heritable defect in the androgen receptor protein were studied to investigate how androgens might influence immune phenotype and function. These mice were compared to two types of controls; their Tabby/Y normal male littermates and male mice of the C57 B1/6 strain from which the Tabby and Tfm mice were derived. Thymuses and spleens from Tfm/Y mice were larger than both types of controls. Phenotypic differences in thymocyte and splenocyte subpopulations identified by the T-cell markers CD3, CD4 and CD8 suggested that T-cell maturation was altered in the androgen-resistant animal. However, both Ta/Y and Tfm/Y were found to be high producers of interleukin-4 (IL-4) by both spleen and thymus cells, while cells from the C57 mice produced predominantly IL-2. These findings suggest that some immunological features of the Tfm/Y mouse may be related to its defect in androgen action, but that high levels of IL-4 production are probably related to other genetic changes in the C57 background.",
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AB - The presence of androgen receptors in thymocytes and the well-described effects of exogenous androgens on thymus size suggest a role for androgenic hormones in thymocyte growth and maturation. Testicular feminization (Tfm/Y) mice which bear a heritable defect in the androgen receptor protein were studied to investigate how androgens might influence immune phenotype and function. These mice were compared to two types of controls; their Tabby/Y normal male littermates and male mice of the C57 B1/6 strain from which the Tabby and Tfm mice were derived. Thymuses and spleens from Tfm/Y mice were larger than both types of controls. Phenotypic differences in thymocyte and splenocyte subpopulations identified by the T-cell markers CD3, CD4 and CD8 suggested that T-cell maturation was altered in the androgen-resistant animal. However, both Ta/Y and Tfm/Y were found to be high producers of interleukin-4 (IL-4) by both spleen and thymus cells, while cells from the C57 mice produced predominantly IL-2. These findings suggest that some immunological features of the Tfm/Y mouse may be related to its defect in androgen action, but that high levels of IL-4 production are probably related to other genetic changes in the C57 background.

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