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Among the many examples of neuroendocrine-immune system interactions the relationship
between the thyroid axis and the immune function has yet to be clearly established.
Here we studied the influence of thyroid hormones on the course of an alloimmune response.
Murine T(3) and T(4) levels were found to be increased a few days after the immunization
of mice with allogeneic lymphoid cells. Besides in vivo treatment with T(4) was shown
to increase alloantibody titers during the early stages of alloimmunization and to
enforce lymphoid proliferation in vitro in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. Conversely,
lowering thyroid hormone seric levels by propylthiouracil treatment, negatively modulates
the humoral and cellular alloimmune responses. The evidence here points to the existence
of a bidirectional communication between both systems. The possibility that the antigenic
challenge would increase the thyroid gland activity thus leading to a positive modulatory
action upon the immune response is also discussed.