Deficiency of antibody responses to T-independent antigens in gerbils---Meriones unguiculatus

Dev Comp Immunol. 2002 May;26(4):385-91. doi: 10.1016/s0145-305x(01)00086-6.


Meriones unguiculatus commonly known as gerbils are widely used as animal models for a variety of parasitic infections such as Brugia malayi, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia duodenalis, Toxoplasma gondi, Helicobacter pylori, Strongyloides stercoralis and Echinococcus multilocularis. Groups of BALB/c mice, gerbils and XID mice were studied for antibody responses to T-independent antigens. Gerbils were found to be significantly deficient in eliciting antibodies to both dextran and phosphorylcholine (PC) in comparison to BALB/c mice. The antibody response of gerbils to T-independent antigens was found to be similar to the response observed in Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) deficient XID mice, which are known to be poor responders to T-independent antigens. Similar to XID mice, normal gerbil sera were found to be deficient in naturally occurring antibodies to single stranded DNA (SS-DNA), lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and phospholipids. This raises the possibility of a deficiency of CD5+ B-lymphocytes (also known as B-1 cells) in gerbils, since deficiency of this sub-population of B-lymphocytes has been attributed to the absence of such naturally occurring antibodies in XID mice. These results indicate the need to study immunogenicity of parasite T-independent antigens and their relationship to protective immunity in parasitic infections in gerbils.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Antigens, Helminth / administration & dosage
  • Antigens, T-Independent*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / immunology
  • Dextrans / immunology
  • Gerbillinae / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunization
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Phospholipids / immunology
  • Phosphorylcholine / immunology
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / deficiency
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Setaria Nematode / immunology
  • Setaria Nematode / pathogenicity
  • Species Specificity


  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Antigens, T-Independent
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Dextrans
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Phospholipids
  • Phosphorylcholine
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase
  • Btk protein, mouse