The relationship between the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and oral-induced immunosuppression

Daniel J.J. Carr, Thomas W. Woolley, Benjamin L. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of hypophysectomy on the immune response in mice orally immunized with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) was investigated. Hypophysectomized and sham-operated animals display elevated serum levels of SRBC-specific IgG. In addition, splenic lymphocytes obtained from hypophysectomized mice (i) exhibit an enhanced blastogenic response to SRBC, (ii) present with a lower frequency of T (thy 1.2+) cells and produce more total IgG polyclonal antibody in culture in comparison to splenic lymphocytes obtained from non-operated (control) mice. Peyer's patch (PP) and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) lymphocytes from hypophysectomized animals secreted elevated levels of total IgG compared to saline-treated controls. The culture supernates of splenic lymphocytes obtained from hypophysectomized, sham-operated, and control animals contain interleukin-2 suppressive factors as determined using the CTLL-2 cell line. The suppressive effect mediated by the lymphocyte culture supernates is less apparent on interleukin-4-mediated CTLL-2 proliferation. The culture supernates from PP lymphocytes obtained from hypophysectomized mice contain potent interleukin-2 suppressive factors while PP lymphocyte culture supernates from sham-operated and control mice displayed no suppressive activity. Likewise, culture supernates from MLN lymphocytes of hypophysectomized, sham-operated, and control mice possessed no suppressive factors for interleukin-2- or interleukin-4-mediated CTLL-2 proliferation. Taken together, the identification of suppressive factors in the lymphocyte culture supernates along with the enhanced blastogenic response and serum anti-SRBC IgG levels in hypophysectomized mice suggests neuroendocrine pathways regulate oral-induced tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Gut-associated lymphoid tissue
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-4
  • Neuroimmunomodulation

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