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May 1965

Immunologically Produced Lymphopenia

Author Affiliations


From the departments of medicine and pathology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and Harper Hospital. Fellows in Medicine (Drs. Chiba, Rosenblatt, Yamanaka, and Bassenge); Professor of Pathology (Dr. Wolf); Professor of Medicine and Chairman, Department of Medicine (Dr. Bing), Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(5):558-564. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860170040010

IN 1899, Metchnikoff 1 first produced a leukocytotoxic serum by injecting spleen and lymph node emulsion from rats and guinea pigs into rabbits. Woodruff,2 Waksman,3 and Hume4 employing rabbit antirat or anti guinea pig lymphocytic serum found that lymphopenia could be produced by in vivo administration of this antiserum. Since the production of lymphopenia by the above method requires daily administration of antiserum, and because of the possibility of anaphylactic reaction, a safer, more practical method for inducing lymphoid system suppression was desired. The early work of Landsteiner 5,6 had shown that coupling autologous peptides and a simple molecule such as glucose to an antigenic protein carrier would cause these substances to elicit antibody formation when injected into the original animals. There is evidence as well,7 that a state of active immunity can be established by coupling autologous neoplastic tissue to an antigenic protein carrier and then reintroducing this complex