The effect of some adrenal steroids upon immunological responses to diphtheria toxoid.
Sweet, Benjamin Hersh
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The purpose of this investigation was to study the action of the two adrenal steroids desoxycorticosterone (DCA) and 11-dehydro-17-hydroxycorticosterone (cortisone) upon certain immunological responses to diphtheria toxoid in the rabbit. The responses studied were: (1) the effect of the hormones on circulating antibody when administered early and late in immunization; (2) the effect of these agents on the booster response to diphtheria toxoid; (3) a study of the relationship of skin-sensitivity, of the delayed tuberculin type, to antibody titer and the effects of these hormones on such relationships. A survey of the literature reveals a great many contradictory reports concerning the role of the adrenal cortex or its products on the maintenance of antibody levels and upon skin-sensitivity. Various investigators, utilizing different species of animals, different hormonal preparations, and different dosages, have reported increases, decreases, or no effects on circulating antibody levels and skin-sensitivity. Moreover, with few exceptions, the majority of workers has utilized semi-quantitative techniques, which usually have an inherent error of 100 per cent. In the present work the diphtheria toxin-antitoxin system was used. This system is excellent for the study of antibody and was chosen because: (1) the antigen, diphtheria toxoid, could be obtained in a high state of purity (95 per cent); (2) it induces an antibody response which can be measured in concentrations as low as 0.01 micrograms of antibody nitrogen by the rabbit intracutaneous test; and, (3) because it will, when incorporated into an adjuvant, intensify the antibody response, particularly in regard to skin sensitivity. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University