Dolphin Lymphocyte Transformation Responses to Phytomitogens, Lipopolysaccharide, and Human Recombinant Interleukin-2
IAAAM 1988
B.W. Fenwick, DVM, MS, PhD; C.M. McDermott, DVM, MS

Lymphocyte transformation should not be equated directly with an evaluation of cell mediate immunity. However, the assay is known to be of value in identifying inherited, acquired, and stress-induced immunodeficiencies. The assay is also used to monitor the immunoenhancing or immunosuppressive effects of hormones and drugs.

In order to facilitate the routine use of the lymphocyte transformation test (LST) in dolphins, methods were developed to isolate and cryopreserved peripheral blood dolphin lymphocytes. Using these cells, dolphin lymphocyte responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA), concanavalin A (Con A), pokeweed mitogen (PHA), gram negative bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and human recombinant interleukin-2 (HrIL-2) were determined. The results from testing cryopreserved and fresh lymphocytes were compared.

The results of this project show the potential of LST in evaluating the immunologic status of dolphins in locations remote from the testing laboratory. Changes in lymphocyte function can cause shifts in the maximal response to mitogens or time in culture. It is therefore important to first establish normal values. This project provides the baseline data that is necessary prior to evaluating the influence of stress, disease, and therapy on immune functions in dolphins.

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Brad W. Fenwick, DVM, MS, PhD

C. M. McDermott, DVM, MS

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