Serum Proteins of Germ-free Rats fed Water-soluble Diets


THE germ-free animal with its more controlled environment and reduced reticuloendothelial system has become a valuable tool in microbiological and immunological investigations. In the germ-free rat a deficit in immune proteins causes low levels of serum β- and γ-globulins1. However, the animal is still subject to the variable reticuloendothelial system stimulating factors occurring in the steam-sterilized diets generally used. This communication presents data on serum proteins of germ-free rats fed a chemically defined, water-soluble ‘antigen free’ diet which was filter-sterilized. This type of diet, composed almost entirely of low-molecular-weight compounds and free of material of bacterial origin, should further reduce the level of reticuloendothelial system activity because of the absence of stimulation caused by high-molecular-weight substances and by killed and disintegrated microbial agents.

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    Gustafsson, B. E., and Laurell, C. B., J. Exp. Med., 108, 251 (1958). Wostmann, B. S., Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 78, 254 (1959). Grabar, P., Courcon, J., and Wostmann, B. S., J. Immunol., 88, 679 (1962).

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    Pleasants, J. R., Wostmann, B. S., and Zimmerman, D. R., Lab. Animal Care, 14, 37 (1964).

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    Wostmann, B. S., Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 78, 175 (1959).

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    Olson, G. B., and Wostmann, B. S., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. and Med. (in the Press).

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WOSTMANN, B., OLSON, G. & PLEASANTS, J. Serum Proteins of Germ-free Rats fed Water-soluble Diets. Nature 206, 1056–1057 (1965) doi:10.1038/2061056b0

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