Postirradiation recovery of lymphoid cells in the rat

Annabelle Farnsworth, John S. Wotherspoon, Susan E. Dorsch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Whole-body irradiation has been extensively used to ablate immune responsiveness in rodent recipients in adoptive allograft assays. This study was undertaken to determine the relative radioresistance and the tempo of regeneration, following whole-body irradiation, of cells involved in the allograft response. Six distinct cell populations have been identified in the lymphoid tissues of rats subjected to sublethal whole-body irradiation. The relative representation of these subpopulations was significantly different from that in nonirradiated controls. NK cells, macrophages, and plasma cells, which are present in very low numbers in cell suspensions prepared from normal lymphoid tissues, made up a significant proportion of the residual/regenerating population in the tissues of rats recovering from whole-body irradiation. More significantly perhaps, the mature T cell populations showed a significant increase in the T cy-totoxic/suppressor to T helper cell ratio. These observations support the suggestion that a number of the cell types within the mixed cell population observed in the rejecting indicator grafts of irradiated recipients in adoptive allograft assays are host derived. The finding that the T cytotoxic/suppressor population is apparently more radioresistant than the T helper population supports a conclusion that graft rejection in irradiated recipients, restored with pure populations of T helper cells, may not be directly mediated by the injected cells but may be the result of collaboration between these and host-derived cytotoxic cell populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-425
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


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