Transformation of Lymphocytes From Patients With Histoplasmosis and Other Pulmonary Infections

Date of Graduation

Spring 1982


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Richard Myers


Cell mediated immunity (CMI) appears to be crucial in host defense against fungal infections. Patients with T lymphocyte defects are unable to resist even minor exposures to fungi and some patients with a responsive CMI have been reported to be unable to combat the infections. This may be due to immunosuppressive factors. The lymphocyte transformation (LT) assay was used to assess the cellular immune status in histoplasmosis patients and patients with other pulmonary infections. Depressed LT responses have been noted in histoplasmosis patients, and it has been suggested that suppression was caused by a factor or factors in patient's serum. Heterologous and autologous sera were used in parallel LT procedures to assess suppressive effects of autologous serum. Complement fixation (CF) and immunodiffusion (ID) tests were also performed to determine the presence or absence of anti-bodies as the cause of autologous sera suppression. Suppression in LT responses was seen in some patients but did not appear to be caused by complement-fixing antibodies. Pre- and post-amphotericin B therapy transformations were also performed in histoplasmosis patients. Some patients who had depressed LT responses before therapy showed a normal response after therapy. Therefore, it appears that autologous sera contains factors which alter the lymphocyte response to specific antigen. Lymphocyte transformation responses appeared to be potentiated by amphotericin B.

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© Debra Lynn Moran