Cell transfer experiments were performed to determine the role of T and B lymphocytes in the genetic control of autoimmune thyroiditis. Adult female BALB/c mice H-2d), poor responders, were thymectomized, lethally irradiated, and reconstituted with T lymphocytes (thymus cell suspensions), B lymphocytes (bone marrow cells treated with anti-θ serum and complement), or T and B lymphocytes from (RF × BALB/c)F1 good responder mice. Chimeras were immunized with homologous thyroglobulin, and the thyroid antibody and pathology index were assessed. T lymphocytes but not B lymphocytes could transfer responsiveness to thyroglobulin. Adult thymectomized mice had a markedly decreased immune response to thyroglobulin. Homozygous nude (nu/nu) mice did not develop thyroiditis in contrast to heterozygous (nu/+) littermates.
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