In an effort to evaluate the role of the thymus in influencing the development of Lyb-5- B lymphocytes, mice expressing both the xid and nu gene defects were studied. Mice expressing either of these defects respond to both trinitrophenylated Brucellus abortus and lipopolysaccharide; whereas mice with the combined defect show markedly suppressed responses. The other abnormalities included: (a) greater than 80 percent diminution of serum Ig levels; (b) significant increase in the number of sIgM+ sIgD- B lymphocytes; (c) reduced expression of IgD on sIgD+ cells; and (d) a strikingly abnormal histology of their lymphoid tissue. Because nu/nu mice that do not express the xid defect appear relatively normal, it would suggest that the development of Lyb-5- B lymphocytes require a thymic influence for normal maturation, whereas, Lyb-5+ B lymphocytes are relatively independent of such influences.

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