Testicular-Associated Immune Deviation: Flushing of the Testicular Lymph Sinusoids Induces Immunosuppression and Inhibits Formation of EAE in SJL Mice


Dr E. Veräjänkorva, Department of Anatomy, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 10, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland. E-mail: esolve@utu.fi


Injection of antigen into the testis has been previously proved to induce systemic tolerance in rats. Testicular-associated immune deviation (TAID) has thus far been induced and studied only in the rat and the present study was planned to study if TAID could be induced in mice as well. In addition, it was studied if TAID is organ-specific. Mouse spinal cord homogenate (MSCH), as well as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), was injected into the testes of SJL and BALB/c male mice before the induction of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis into the animals. The control animals received MSCH intramuscularly into the hamstring muscles. The animals were followed and graded daily for symptoms attending the next 30 days. In the SJL strain, mice treated with an intratesticular (i.t.) MSCH injection prior to the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) had the shortest duration of symptoms and the longest time to the onset of the first symptoms. In addition, the mice injected i.t. with PBS had as mild symptoms as those injected with MSCH. There was a statistically significant difference, however, between the groups injected either with MSCH or PBS intratesticularly. In general, mice treated with an intramuscular injection of MSCH got sick first, and had the most severe symptoms for the longest duration of time. In the case of the BALB/c mice, there were no statistical differences between the groups investigated. It is concluded that TAID is a testis- and strain-specific phenomenon in the mouse, and not specific to the rat. In addition, i.t. injection of PBS is just as effective in creating tolerance against EAE as i.t. injection of MSCH in the SJL mice.