Effect of Interleukin 1b on rat thymus microenvironment


The effect of interleukin 1b on the thymus of control and chemically sympathectomized adult and aged rats was studied with the aim of assessing the importance of adrenergic nerve fibres (ANF) in the regulation of some immunological functions.The whole thymus was removed from normal, sympathectomized (with the neurotoxin 6-OH-dopamine) and treated (interleukin 1b) rats. Thymic slices were stained with eosin orange (for the recognition of microanatomical details of the thymic microenvironment) and with Bodian’s method for staining of nerve fibres. Histofluorescence microscopy was employed for staining ANF and immunofluorescence was used for detecting NPY-like immunoreactivity. All images were submitted to quantitative morphometrical analysis and statistical analysis of data. Moreover, the amount of proteins and noradrenaline was measured on thymic homogenates. The results indicate that in normal conditions the formation of the thymic nerve plexi in the rat is complex: the majority of ANF are destroyed after chemical sympathectomy with 6-OH-dopamine and do not change after treatment with interleukin 1b; on the contrary, treatment with interleukin 1b induces substantial changes in the fresh weight of the thymus, the thymic microenvironment, thymic nerve fibers, ANF, NPY-like positive nerve fibres, and on the total amount of proteins and noradrenaline in rat thymic tissue homogenates.Immunostimulation with interleukin 1b induces substantial changes in the whole thymus, in its microenvironment and in ANF and NPY-like nerve fibres. After chemical sympathectomy, no significant immune response was evoked by interleukin 1b, since the majority of ANF was destroyed by chemical sympathectomy.



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How to Cite
Artico, M., Cavallotti, C., Iannetti, G., & Cavallotti, D. (2009). Effect of Interleukin 1b on rat thymus microenvironment. European Journal of Histochemistry, 45(4), 357-66. https://doi.org/10.4081/1644

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