The effect of cyclophosphamide (CY) on precursors of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), specific for Moloney-murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV)- induced antigens, and on the precursors of cells having natural killer (NK)-like activity was studied by means of limiting dilution assay. Pre-treatment with a single CY dose of 100 mg/kg induced a marked reduction not only in the total spleen cell number but also in the frequencies of M-MuLV-specific CTL, and NK-like cell precursors. Maximal effect was obtained 2 days after CY injection, and a gradual recovery in both total spleen cell number and cytotoxic activity was achieved by day 12. These results confirm that CY exerts a strong but transient immunodepressive effect.
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