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Alien Cells Can Change You
June 11, 2010 21:51

Cells of mouse spleen under a microscope

Russian researchers showed that behavior of laboratory mice changed after transplantation of spleen cells from another mouse.

Endocrine, immune and nervous systems of an organism are inseparably related to each other, and Russian researchers from State Science and Research Institute of Clinical Immunology (Siberian branch of Russian academy of medical sciences) got another proof of it, when they found out that transplanted spleen cells (immune competent cells – splenocytes) changed investigative behavior of laboratory mice.

Researchers performed experiments with 3-month-old genetically identical male mice, using the “open field” behavioral test. For this test a mouse was placed into a corner of a large plastic box, and for 5 minutes scientists observed what an animal has done in order to explore an unfamiliar environment. Behavioral patterns allowed dividing all mice into three groups: low, medium and high level of orientation and investigative behavior (OIB).

Then some of these animals were taken as donors of splenocytes. Scientists isolated splenocytes from mice with low and high level of orientation and investigative behavior and transplanted these cells into other mice. Cells from donors with high OIB level were transplanted to mice with low OIB, and vice versa. Five days after transplantation, recipients were again tested by means of “open field” test. A control group included mice, with received cells from donors with same level of investigative activity as themselves.



 Tests showed that after transplantation of immune competent cells from spleen, behavior of a recipient mouse also changed and became the same as donor’s. This means that recipients with low OIB level became more active explorers, and those with high OIB level showed less investigative interest compared to initial level.

Mice with different level of orientation and investigative behavior also have different level of emotional tension. Emotional tension corresponds with the number of fecal boluses – the more boluses, the stronger tension an animal feels. Experiments revealed that after transplantation recipient’s level of emotional tension has also become the same as donor’s emotional pattern.

Not only behavior of recipient mice changed – biochemical parameters also differed from initial values. For instance, concentration of interleukin (a regulator of immune competent cells – macrophages) after transplantation changed according change of mouse behavior.

Transplantation of spleen cells also affected the level of immune response of recipient mice. Interleukin is chemically a cytokine – a special substance, responsible for regulation of cell-cell interactions, cell growth, proliferation and death, as well as coordinating actions of immune, endocrine and nervous systems. Researchers tend to think that cytokines, excreted by spleen cells, affected animal’s brain and changed its behavior. Donor’s spleen cells enter recipient’s organism, change cytokine production in its own spleen, thus affecting cell immune response and reactions.

Source: Science & Life

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists     

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