Restoration of T-cell responsiveness by thymosin: Expression of anti-tuberculous immunity in mouse lungs

F. M. Collins, N. E. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Specific pathogen-free, adult thymectomized, irradiated, and bone marrow-reconstituted (THXB) B6D2 mice were infected aerogenically with 1 x 103 to 5 x 103 live BCG Pasteur. Seven days later a group of the mice was placed on a 14-day regimen of 20 mg of calf thymosin per kg per day, and the growth of the BCG in the lungs, spleen, inguinal lymph node, bone marrow, and blood was determined for up to 90 days. The thymosin treatment was followed by a decline in the BCG counts for the lungs and spleens of the THXB mice, whereas the saline-treated controls showed no such decline with time. The thymosin-treated mice did not develop progressive BCG infections in the test lymph nodes or in the bone marrow, both of which became positive in the THXB mice. Spleen cells were harvested from thymosin-treated THXB donors, filtered through nylon wool, and infused 3 times into BCG-infected THXB recipients. The lung BCG counts declined approximately 10-fold by day 90 compared with THXB mice which received THXB spleen cells. The transferred immune response was only slightly smaller numerically than that seen in THXB mice infused with BCG-immune lymphocytes from normal donors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-335
Number of pages6
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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