The investigations reported here stem from the discovery that the secondary response can readily be elicited in cultures of lymph node fragments prepared from previously immunized rabbits (1). Like most other organ and tissue culture systems, these lymph node cultures were originally found to require the presence of serum in a medium otherwise chemically defined in its content of salts, glucose, amino acids, and vitamins. But the secondary response was noted to vary in media containing sera from different rabbits, sera from different bleedings of the same rabbit, or even samples of the same serum stored frozen for different periods. Thus the presence of serum is obviously undesirable because of its variable and poorly defined composition. Recently, we found that equally good antibody responses were obtained with culture medium in which serum was replaced by physiological levels of hydrocortisone (2). The present report describes in detail the experiments leading to this observation and correlates it with (a) related nutritional findings in other tissue cultures, (b) various effects of corticosteroids on other culture systems, and (c) the influences of these hormones on the immune response both in vitro and in vivo.
- Antibody-Forming Tissue,
- Serum-Free Medium
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