Cyclophosphamide (CY) is used in many animal studies, including models of bacteraemia, to deplete peripheral neutrophils and induce a compromised state. Although CY also influences lymphocyte function, the protective role of lymphocytes in bacteraemia is unclear. Therefore, CY (200 mg/kg) was administered to ddY mice and its influence on the number, cellular composition, and function of lymphocytes in the spleen and Peyer's patches was examined. A single dose of CY reduced the number of lymphocytes in a time-dependent fashion. Flow cytometry showed that B cells carrying B220 antigen decreased significantly. The production of IgA in Peyer's patches, as measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, was also suppressed in a time-dependent fashion. Blastogenic responses of splenic lymphocytes to Concanavalin-A, lipopolysaccharide and heat-killed were suppressed 48 h after CY administration. The results suggest that CY suppresses the number and function of lymphocytes, especially B cells. This may lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut and result in bacteraemia. Intravenous transfusion of normal lymphocytes or oral inoculation of IgA to mice with D4 endogenous bacteraemia significantly increased survival rates, indicating that lymphocytes and their products have a protective role in bacteraemia in mice.


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