Reduced dietary protein levels decrease interleukin 3 production of murine splenic T lymphocytes

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4 Scopus citations


Moderate protein deficiency decreases the number of cells within lymphoid and myeloid lineages, but may increase systemic antibody responses to heterologous antigen. Thymus derived T lymphocytes, in response to polyclonal mitogens or antigen, generate interleukin 3(IL3) and IL2 which influence hemopoiesis and antibody responses, respectively. To determine the effect of moderate protein deficiency on the ability of splenic lymphocyte populations to generate IL2 and IL3, BALB/c and BDF1 mice were fed either a 20% casein(20C) or a 4% casein(4C) diet. After five weeks, splenic lymphocytes were enumerated and incubated at a uniform concentration in vitro with 5ug Concanavalin A (ConA) for 48hrs. Serially diluted ConA conditioned media of splenic lymphocytes from individual mice were used to stimulate proliferation of the factor dependent cell lines, CTLL-2 and FDCP-1, to measure IL2 and IL3, respectively. The splenic lymphocytes of BDF1 mice fed 4C generated only slightly less IL2 and IL3 compared to splenic lymphocytes of 20C-fed mice. On the other hand, splenic lymphocytes of BALB/c mice fed 4C generated less IL2 and significantly less IL3, compared to splenic lymphocytes of 20C fed BALB/c mice. The reduced ability to generate IL3 by 4C-fed BALB/c mice was correlated with reduced numbers of splenic lymphocytes. These results indicate that the strain-specific effect on splenic lymphocyte number, due to the moderate protein deficiency, could be due to an effect on the IL3 generating capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1268
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1989


  • Interleukin 2
  • Interleukin 3
  • Moderate Protein Deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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