Rejection of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis is impaired in iron and protein deficient rats and this suggests that iron and protein deficiency directly or indirectly suppresses the immune response. The site of the immunological defect in deficient rats was investigated using the technique of cellular transfer of resistance. The functional activity of immune mesenteric lymph node cells obtained from iron and protein deficient donors was not depressed as measured by their capacity to cause parasite rejection in nutritionally sufficient recipients. In contrast, immune lymph node cells obtained from either sufficient or deficient donors did not result in parasite rejection in iron and protein deficient recipients. These results indicate that there is no permanent defect of lymphocyte function in iron and protein deficient rats and suggest that either some other component of the rejection mechanism is defective, or that lymphocyte function is blocked in an iron and protein deficient environment.
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