The immunocompetence of leukocyte subpopulations from mice which had received a 10% scald burn has been examined following injury. Leukocytes from the burned animals were reduced 80% in their ability to generate de novo antibody-forming cells in vitro. When leukocytes from the injured animals were supplied with the immunologically active factors produced by normal A and T leukocytes, their immunocompetence was restored. These experiments indicate that: (i) Thermal injury directly reduces the immune activity of leukocytes; (ii) the thermal-induced leukocyte injury is time dependent; and (iii) the leukocyte subpopulation affected is not the antibody-forming B cell.
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