Lymphocyte phenotypes in wild-caught rats suggest potential mechanisms underlying increased immune sensitivity in post-industrial environments.
The immune systems of wild rats and of laboratory rats can been utilized as models of the human immune system in pre-industrial and post-industrial societies, respectively. In this study, lymphocyte phenotypes in wild rats were broadly characterized, and the results were compared to those obtained by us and by others using cells derived from various strains of laboratory rats. Although not expected, the production of regulatory T cells was not apparently different in wild rats compared to laboratory rats. On the other hand, differences in expression of markers involved in complement regulation, adhesion, signaling and maturation suggest increased complement regulation and decreased sensitivity in wild-caught rats compared to laboratory rats, and point toward complex differences between the maturation of T cells. The results potentially lend insight into the pathogenesis of post-industrial epidemics of allergy and autoimmune disease.
Trama, AM; Holzknecht, ZE; Thomas, AD; Su, K-Y; Lee, SM; Foltz, EE; Perkins, SE; Lin, SS; Parker, W
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