Immune response of rat spleen cells to a carcinogen and to vaccination with anti-p53 polyclonal antibodies

Herzl Ben-Hur, Pavel Gurevich, Hagay Zion, Valentina Berman, Yeugeni Tendler, Bella Sandler, Oren Zinder, Igor Zusman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The tumor-suppressive effects of rabbit anti-p53 antibodies on chemically induced rat colon cancer were demonstrated previously. Methods: In this communication, the spleen's role in the immune response of rats to cancer and vaccination was evaluated histologically and immunohistochemically. The following groups of rats were studied: a) control non treated rats; b) tumor-free non vaccinated rats treated with a carcinogen; c) tumor-bearing non vaccinated rats; d) tumor-free vaccinated rats exposed to a carcinogen; e) tumor-bearing vaccinated rats. Results: Exposure to a carcinogen (group 2) caused the appearance of the proliferative and apoptotic changes associated with immune response. They included abundant blast transformation of CD20-positive B lymphocytes, expansion of germinal centers and of periarterial sheaths (CD3-positive T cells), an increase in the number of plasma cells, mitotic and apoptotic cells in the follicles, and in CD25 IL2-depending T cells. The presence of colon tumors (group 3) caused insufficiency of the splenic lymphoid system: blast transformation was weaker, the white pulp area decreased and its devastation was reflected in fewer lymphoid cells. There were less plasma cells in the red pulp, while the number of dendritic cells, CD25+ T cells, macrophages and neutrophils increased sharply, suggesting a compensatory reaction to the severe antigenic effects. Similar, but stronger changes, occurred in tumor-free vaccinated rats (group 4). In tumor-bearing vaccinated rats (group 5), the rate of proliferation change was higher than in group 3, probably as a result of a weaker splenic insufficiency. A strong correlation was found between the number of mitotic, apoptotic or dendritic cells, tumorigenesis and vaccination. Conclusions: A sharp increase in the number of dendritic cells in vaccinated tumor-bearing rats suggests that these cells participate in the host's reaction to tumorigenesis. We conclude that vaccination with anti-p53 polyclonal antibodies activates lymph components of the spleen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
Number of pages9
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number1 A
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibodies
  • Dendritic cells
  • Immune response
  • Lymphoid cells
  • Spleen
  • p53


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