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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1991|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy