A decrease in thymus-mediated immune responses as a result of treatment of neonatal rats with glutamate

Charles A. Blake, David A. Crouse, M. Olubunmi Dada, Jorge F. Rodriguez-Sierra, John G Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


We investigated whether administration of monosodium l-glutamate (MSG) to neonatal rats would disrupt immune responses in intact and orchidectomized adult male rats. Neonatal male rats were treated with saline or MSG which causes severe endocrine abnormalities. Half of each group of animals were orchidectomized as adults and killed one week later along with intact rats. MSG treatment resulted in suppressed serum LH levels in intact rats. Thymus weight and spleen cellularity in intact animals were not affected by MSG treatment, but thymus weight increased within one week after orchidectomy in both saline- and MSG-treated groups. In intact rats, lymphocyte stimulation by the T cell specific mitogens (concanavalin A or phytohemagglutinin) or the B cell specific mitogen (lipopolysaccharide) was unaffected by prior treatment with MSG. However, MSG treatment blocked the decrease attributable to orchidectomy in concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin stimulation of lymphocyte blastogenesis. The results suggest that administration of MSG to neonatal male rats can alter some immune responses in the adult animal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 13 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this