Correlations between phytohemagglutinin response and leukocyte profile, and bactericidal capacity in a wild rodent

Integr Zool. 2015 May;10(3):302-10. doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12133.


Phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced swelling is widely used to investigate cell-mediated and innate immunity across different vertebrate taxa. However, its physiological mechanism is still an open question due to the complexity of the involved immune components. In the present study, we measured the synchronous variations of PHA response, the proportion of different subtypes of leukocytes, as well as serum bactericidal capacity in circulation blood at 6, 12 and 24 h after PHA versus PBS injection in striped hamster, Cricetulus barabensis. First, the results showed that PHA responses reached a peak at 6 h postinjection, then sharply declined at 12 h and 24 h postinjection. Serum bactericidal capacity was higher at 6 h and 12 h than at 24 h. The proportion of different subtypes of leukocytes, as well as the ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes did not display significant changes across different time points. Second, PHA response was positively correlated with the proportion of neutrophils and serum bactericidal capacity. The proportion of monocytes was negatively correlated with that of eosinophils and neutrophils. The proportion of basophils was negatively correlated with that of lymphocytes. Our results indicate that earlier enhanced PHA response is important for the striped hamster to cope with changing environmental conditions due to its small body mass, and the increased components of innate immunity in circulation blood may contribute to the enhancement of PHA swelling response.

Keywords: Cricetulus barabensis; neutrophils; phytohemagglutinin; serum bactericidal capacity; striped hamster.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity
  • Cricetinae / blood
  • Cricetinae / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Leukocytes / immunology*
  • Phytohemagglutinins / immunology*


  • Phytohemagglutinins