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

N. J. Olsen, M. B. Watson, W. J. Kovacs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

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 - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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