We studied the influence of the neuroendocrine system on the development of humoral immune response to sheep erythrocytes in rat fetuses. The removal of brain in utero by decapitation of 18-day fetuses induced a fourfold increase in the number of antibody-forming cells in the liver, as compared to the unoperated fetuses. After the removal of the forebrain, including hypothalamus (encephalectomy), the number of antibody-forming cells was comparable to that in unoperated fetuses. The observed increase in the number of antibody-forming cells in the liver was not due to a disturbed migration of precursors of B-lymphocytes in the spleen, since their content in the spleen was also four times that in the encephalectomized and unoperated fetuses. The increased number of antibody-forming cells in decapitated fetuses could be due to an enhanced proliferative activity of the lymphocytes in the liver of these fetuses. It has been proposed that humoral immunity is controlled by the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal system already during prenatal development; the adrenocorticotropic hormone and glucocorticoids appear to be involved in this regulation.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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