The in vitro lymphocyte proliferative response to mouse thyroglobulin (MTg) was studied in good and poor responder mice in relationship to in vivo antibody formation and thyroid infiltration. CBA(H-2k) and BALB/c(H-2d) mice were immunized in the hind footpads with MTg incorporated into complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). At weekly intervals up to 28 days, groups of mice were sacrificed. Their popliteal lymph nodes were cultured in vitro for proliferative response to MTg and their antibody levels and thyroid involvement determined. In good responder CBA mice, the proliferative responses to MTg were strongest on Days 8 to 14, where they were 9- to 14-fold over control levels, depending on the day of harvest. The response declined to 2- to 4-fold over background on Days 21 to 28, although high antibody levels were present throughout this period. The proliferative response was abrogated by anti-Thy-1 treatment, indicating its dependence on T cells. In poor responder BALB/c mice, no significant proliferative responses to MTg were observed at any time, although the animals displayed moderate levels of MTg antibody. The responses to PPD, in contrast, were similar in both strains, usually being 4- to 7-fold above background. Thyroid infiltration, like the proliferative response to MTg, was observed only in CBA mice. Thus lymphocyte proliferation at 8 to 14 days represents a reliable, early in vitro correlate of autoimmune thyroiditis induced with CFA as adjuvant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas