Effects of nutrition on disease and life span. I. Immune responses, cardiovascular pathology, and life span in MRL mice

Am J Pathol. 1984 Oct;117(1):110-24.


Mice of the autoimmune, lymphoproliferative strain MRL/lpr and the congenic, nonlymphoproliferative strain MRL/n were fed one of six diets from weaning on-ward. These mice were sacrificed at 3 or 5 months of age. Low fat diets resulted in lower cholesterol and higher triglyceride levels than did cholesterol-containing high-fat diets. Caloric restriction of MRL/lpr mice was associated with an increased plaque-forming cell response to trinitrophenylated polyacrylamide beads, less lymphoproliferation, and less severe glomerulonephritis. Diet did not affect the incidence of autoimmune vasculitis in MRL/lpr mice sacrificed at 5 months. MRL/lpr mice fed a low-fat, calorically restricted diet from 5 months of age to death lived longer than mice which were fed ad libitum a cholesterol-containing, high-fat diet. At death, MRL/lpr mice fed the former diet had the autoimmune vasculitis which had been evident in mice killed at 5 months, whereas mice fed the latter diet, in addition to the vasculitis, had a high incidence of atherosclerotic lesions of intrarenal and aortic branch arteries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / analysis
  • Arteries / pathology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Glomerulonephritis / prevention & control*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Longevity*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains / immunology*
  • Rats
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vasculitis / pathology
  • Vasculitis / prevention & control*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Blood Proteins
  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Dietary Fats
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol