Modulation of immune dysfunction during murine leukaemia retrovirus infection of old mice by dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS)

M. Araghi-Niknam, B. Liang, Z. Zhang, S. K. Ardestani, Ronald R Watson

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37 Scopus citations


Ageing, leukaemia and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are conditions with dysregulated cytokine production. As dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) restored normal cytokine production in old mice its effects on retrovirally infected old mice were investigated. Retrovirus infection and ageing-induced immune dysfunction. Murine retrovirus-infected old C57BL/6 female mice-consumed 0.22 or 0.44 μg of DHEAS/mouse/day beginning 2 weeks postinfection for 10 weeks. DHEAS largely prevented the retrovirus-induced reduction in T-cell and B-cell mitogenesis. DHEAS supplement prevented loss of cytokines [interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interferon-γ secretion by mitogen-stimulated splenocytes representing T helper 1 (Th1) cell phenotypes. It also suppressed the retrovirus-induced, excessive production of cytokines (IL-6 and IL-10) by Th2 cells. The highest dose of DHEAS reduced IL-6 production by splenocytes from uninfected old mice by 75% while increasing their IL-2 secretion by nearly 50%. Thus immune dysfunction induced by ageing, even when exacerbated by murine retrovirus infection, was largely prevented by DHEAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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