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Effect of immunosuppressive agents on the guanethidine-induced sympathectomy in athymic and euthymic rats

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  • H P Hougen
  • P Thygesen
  • H B Christensen
  • J Rygaard
  • O Svendsen
  • P Juul
Guanethidine sulphate causes destruction of peripheral sympathetic neurons and infiltration of mononuclear inflammatory cells in the sympathetic ganglia of both athymic nude (rnu/rnu) and euthymic LEW/Mol rats. The effect of guanethidine is believed to be an autoimmune reaction. To determine the effect of immunosuppressive drugs concurrently with guanethidine treatment both athymic and euthymic rats were treated with guanethidine 40 mg/kg i.p. daily for 14 days, cyclophosphamide 100 mg/kg i.p. on days 1 and 8, methylprednisolone 10 mg/kg and cyclosporin A 10 mg/kg daily from days 1 to 7, and then every other day from days 8 to 14. The number of neurons in the sympathetic ganglia was counted and four subpopulations of mononuclear inflammatory cells were identified by monoclonal antibodies MHC II, CD8 T-cells/NK-cells, CD5 T-cells, CD4 T-cells/macrophages. Our results show that the immunosuppressive drugs used were unable to prevent the guanethidine-induced reduction of sympathetic neurons, although the number, of neurons following guanethidine-methylprednisolone treatment was significantly higher compared with guanethidine alone in both athymic and euthymic rats. The identification of mononuclear cells in the sympathetic ganglia showed that the CD8/NK and CD5 populations were the populations primarily responding to guanethidine treatment. Both CD8/NK and CD5 populations were absent without guanethidine, but increased significantly following guanethidine in both athymic and euthymic animals. None of the immunosuppressive drugs used could prevent the guanethidine-induced rise in the CD8/NK population in neither athymic nor in euthymic rats. The rise in the CD5 population was suppressed following treatment with all immunosuppressive drugs in athymic rats, but only following methylprednisolone in euthymic animals. These results indicate that guanethidine induces proliferation of T-cells in euthymic rats and non-functional CD5 positive pre T-cells in athymic animals. The CD5 population in both athymic and euthymic animals appears relatively more sensitive to immunosuppressive drugs than the NK-cell population also activated by guanethidine. This relatively resistant NK-cell population seems to play an important role in the guanethidine-induced destruction of sympathetic neurons and can explain why the guanethidine-induced immunological reaction could not be fully prevented by the immunosuppressive drugs used. The conclusion is that guanethidine induces destruction of sympathetic neurons by a NK-cell-mediated reaction.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Immunopharmacology
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)1113-1123
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1992

ID: 44355002