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Keywords:

  • Imuthiol (sodium diethyldithiocarbamate);
  • newborn immune system;
  • fecundation;
  • gestation;
  • mouse strains

ABSTRACT: A physiological immature immune system in newborns is a common feature frequently associated with increased susceptibility to infections. The properties of imuthiol (purified sodium diethyldithiocarbamate), an agent specifically active on the T-cell lineage, and virtually devoid of toxicity for man or animals, encouraged us to determine whether imuthiol administered to the dams could increase the immune capability of offspring without altering fecundability and birth rate. Experiments performed either in histocompatible or histoincompatible mating systems, show that chronic administration of imuthiol prior to mating and/or during pregnancy stimulated newborn mice to increased T-cell-dependent responses, without altering birth rates and growth curves in progenies. The data suggest that imuthiol has no teratogenicity or deleterious influences on mouse gametes, and might be useful to prevent immunodepression-associated infections in newborns.