Effects of Calorie Restriction on Immunologic Functions and Development of Autoimmune Disease in NZB Mice

Chiharu Kubo, B. Connor Johnson, Noorbibi K. Day, Robert A. Good

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic energy (calorie) intake restriction (CEIR) prolonged life, inhibited autoimmune disease, and influenced immunologic and hematologic parameters in NZB mice. Abnormalities in numbers and proportions of T and B cell populations were corrected. Deficient responses to phytomitogens, mixed lymphocyte reactions, formation of plaque-forming cells to sheep red blood cells in vitro, production of cytotoxic T lymphocytes after in vitro stimulation, and interleukin 2 production were also corrected. CEIR prevented the extreme splenomegaly that normally occurs with age in NZB mice. This influence was associated with reduction of a greatly expanded non-T, non-B lymphoid cell population. Calorie restriction also prevented in NZB mice the rapid decrease in total numbers of colony-forming B cells in bone marrow that is also characteristic of mice of this strain. The influences of CEIR on immune parameters and hematopoiesis were generally less marked in non-autoimmune-prone DBA/2 mice than in autoimmune-prone NZB mice. CEIR has been shown to produce profound influences on several strains of autoimmune-prone mice (NZB x NZW)F1, MRL/lpr, BXSB, and NZB herein). In each of these strains, the pathogenesis and manifestations of autoimmune disease are dissimilar. Therefore, it seems likely that calorie restriction acts on an as yet elusive mechanism that operates to foster development of the diseases associated with aging common to each of these autoimmune strains as well as autoimmuneresistant mice and rats. Further investigation of the molecular and cellular bases of the benefits of CEIR seems urgent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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