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Title: Influences of differential housing on immunological responsiveness in laboratory rodents
Author: Beden, S. N.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1983
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These studies investigate relationships between "stress" (especially from social stressors), hormonal changes, reticulo-endothelial system activity and immune responsiveness in male laboratory "TO" strain mice. The particular processes examined include the production of total and mercaptoethanol resistant (MER) haemagglutinins and haemolysins produced in response to challenge with standard suspensions of i.p. injected sheep red blood cells (SRBC). The effects of manipulations on indirect measures of endocrine function including adrenal, sex accessory, thymic and splenic weights were concomitantly established. A variety of stressors including defeat and exposure to ether vapour increased adrenocortical and suppressed gonadal function. They also suppress primary but not secondary immune responses to SRBC challenge. Acute actions are much more obvious than chronic ones. Adrenalectomy, gonadectomy and combined adrenalectomy/gonadectomy influenced splenic and/or thymic weights which could also be manipulated by treatment with glucocorticoids or sex steroids. Stress, however, often influenced measures in the absence of these glands. In addition, surgery and stress applied even to adrenalectomized/gonadectomized mice could alter some measures of primary immune responding to SRBC challenge. These results consequently establish that neither sex steroids nor glucocorticoids are essential for the apparent decline in immunocompetence in 'stressed' animals. In view of the recently revealed complexities of cellular mediated immune responses, it seems essential to emphasize that attempts to establish that 'stress' naturally modifies an animal's response to potentially invasive factors require systematic investigation of the time courses of these processes. It seems probable that stress may sometimes enhance aspects of these responses. Emphasis on a single endocrine factor or a single measure of disease resistance is likely to simply add to the current confusion. This area requires a blending of expertise in behavioural analysis, endocrinology and immunology/parasitology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available