Ultrastructural alterations observed in the thymus of the mouse during the PR8 influenza virus infection

E. Garaci, R. Calio, W. Djaczenko

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Ultramorphologic alterations of the thymus were studied in PR8 influenza virus infected, intact, and adrenalectomized mice. In both experimental groups of mice the character of the alterations was similar but the intensity was higher in intact mice. The earliest changes were found in dark reticular epithelial cells (DREC), consisting of retraction of the DREC processes and later of almost complete DREC disappearance. Focal thymolysis occurred later. As initial changes, the formation of confluent vacuoles could be observed. In competely lysed thymocytes, plasma membranes were intact along the whole cellular perimeter. In some cells, degenerative changes of thymocytes with pyknosis led to phagocytosis by macrophages predominantly located in the perivascular regions of the thymus. Taking into consideration the mechanism of the thymus damage in anti lymphocyte serum treated mice, it is considered that such mechanisms may be valid in many thymus conditions caused by various provocative agents. Corticosteroids probably contribute largely to the thymus damage in PR8 virus infected mice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGiornale di Batteriologia Virologia ed Immunologia
Publication statusPublished - 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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