Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name




First Advisor

Dr. Paul Urso


To understand how maternal thymus influence benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P] immunomodulation of progeny immunity, adult females were thymectomized (TX), mated and injected with B(a)P at mid pregnancy. The progeny from TX and NTX females were evaluated for the effect of thymectomy and B(a)P exposure on biological factors: cell mediated immunity (CMI), humoral immunity (HI), and expression of T-cells and subsets. Maternal thymectomy with B(a)P exposure reduced litter size by 40%. Serological sensitivity of thymus cells with monoclonal antibody (Mab) anti-CD 1 plus complement occurred at a higher dilution of Mab in progeny from thymectomized mothers exposed to B(a)P. Progeny from thymectomized mothers exposed to B(a)P showed enhanced thymic CMI but suppressed splenic CMI and HI. No significant difference was observed in the percentage of T-cell subsets among treatments. Benzo(a)pyrene treatment resulted in inhibition of lnterleukin-2 but not of interleukin-2 production. These results indicate that the thymus plays an important role in modulating the effect of B(a)P on progeny CMI. Whereas, for HI the role is not as distinctive.

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