Article Text

  1. M. Chiriva-Internati1,
  2. K. Chumbly1,
  3. E. Cobos1,
  4. G. Shah3
  1. 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology
  2. 2Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Lubbock, TX
  3. 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, LA


Purpose Our previous studies have shown that pituitary gonadotroph-derived calcitonin (pit-CT) is a potent inhibitor of prolactin secretion. Transgenic mice with targeted overexpression of pit-CT (pit-CT+) exhibit long-lasting hypoprolactinemia and immunosuppression. In this study, we investigated the immune function in adult female pit-CT+ mice. The objectives of these experiments were to investigate if the changes in pituitary hormone secretion alter the profile of splenic lymphocyte populations.

Methods Spleens from adult female pit-CT+ and age-matched control mice were obtained. The lymphocyte populations from the splenic cells of the transgenic and control mice were analyzed for the expression of the following cell-surface antigens by flow cytometry: CD3, CD14, CD4, CD8, CD19, anti-mouse TNF-alpha, anti-mouse IL-4, MHC-I, MHC-II, anti-mouse IFN-g, anti-mouse IL-2, CD86, CD11, and CD95.

Results The results suggest that splenic lymphocyte populations from pit-CT+ mice displayed a dramatic decrease in CD8 populations and an almost 12-fold decrease in the CD14 population. However, there was an 8-fold increase in the B-cell population and, similarly, a 15-fold increase in the IL-4 population.

Summary These results suggest a dramatic down-regulation of T-cell and monocyte populations but an up-regulation of IL-4 and B-cell populations. This suggests an increase in Th2 cell populations, which is characteristic of humoral and inflammatory responses. The present results raise a strong possibility that alterations in the pituitary function can significantly affect the immune function.

Conclusion These results demonstrate that pit-CT+ mice exhibit immunosuppression as indicated by decreased T-cell populations.

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