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Thalidomide stimulates splenic IgM antibody response and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity and alters leukocyte subpopulation numbers in female B6C3F1 mice

Karrow NA, McCay JA, Brown RD, Musgrove DL, Pettit DA, Munson AE, Germolec DR, White KL Jr.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol (2000) DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/taap.2000.8939 PMID: 10873712



Thalidomide has been shown to have antiinflammatory and, more recently, immunomodulating properties, which are beneficial for the treatment of an ever-increasing list of immune related diseases. Although considerable knowledge regarding thalidomide s antiinflammatory properties has been acquired, relatively little is known about its immunomodulating properties in vivo. In this paper, a panel of immune assays was used to evaluate immunomodulation in female B6C3F1 mice treated intraperitoneally for 28 days with thalidomide (30, 100, or 150 mg/kg/day). Spleen antibody forming cell response was significantly enhanced by 37% in mice treated with 150 mg/kg/day, despite an 8% decrease in the percentage of Ig+ B cells. A significant stimulatory trend was observed for the cytotoxic T cell response across thalidomide treatment groups. An evaluation of the spleen leukocyte subpopulations revealed a 23% increase in the absolute number of CD8+ T cells in the 150 mg/kg treatment group and a 9 and 11% decrease in the absolute number of NK cells in both the 100 and 150 mg/kg thalidomide treatment groups, respectively. These findings demonstrate that, in addition to modulating spleen leukocyte numbers, thalidomide also stimulates murine humoral and cellular immune responses in vivo.