The role of the thymus in the immune response to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) was studied in the mouse. Adult mice were thymectomized, lethally irradiated and reconstituted with bone marrow cells. The immune response to KLH was greatly impaired by thymectomy. Only some thymectomized mice could respond to large doses of KLH but in low amounts. The thymectomized mice did not respond to KLH bound to live macrophages nor to KLH administered simultaneously with an adjuvant like beryllium. Macrophages from both thymectomized and control mice handled KLH similarly.

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This is publication 427 from the Department of Experimental Pathology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California 92037. This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Grant AI 07007 and a Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association of California Grant-in-Aid.

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