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The Effect of Prednisolone on Tuberculin Reaction in Guinea Pigs

Journal of the Korean Pediatric Society 1973;16(1):1-11.
Published online January 31, 1973.
The Effect of Prednisolone on Tuberculin Reaction in Guinea Pigs
Duk Hi Kim
Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine Seoul, Korea
프레드니솔론 경구투여가 피내 결핵반응에 미치는 영향에 관한 실험적 연구
연세대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Stoerk (1950) reported that the administration of cortisone or ACTH to guinea pigs, vaccinated with BCG, will attenuate or block the tuberculin reaction. Derbes et al (1950) and Cummings et al (1952) confirmed this. Tuberculin skin reaction is the prototype of delayed hypersensitivity and contact dermatitis, homograft rejection phenomena and autoimmune disease are kind of delayed type of hypersensitivity. The present studies are undertaken in an attempt to identify the mechanism of effects of prednisolone in clinical medicine. Material and Method Forty-five albino guinea pigs, each weighting 400 to 600 gms, were injected with 1 cc (20mg/cc) of BCG intraperitoneally. After 3 week, a PPD skin test was done and the animals which; showed a positive reaction were used for the experiment and divided into the following groups: Control and Prednisolone treated group was subdivided into those having doses of 1 mg/kg and 4 mg/kg. Before administration of prednisolone, WBC, its differential count and antibody titer to tuberculosis were checked and compared with the results after administration of the drug. The prednisolone was administered per oral route, daily, for 8 weeks. PPD skin test was done each week and the size of induration was read weekly. When the tuberculin reaction was markedly suppressed with prednisolone, passive transfer of tuberculin hypersensitivity with viable leukocytes was tried and a histological examination was done by routine hematoxylin-Eosin staining technique. Result and Discussion The decreased tuberculin skin reaction occurred 1 week: after administration and the maximum inhibition of tuberculin skin reaction occurred 5 weeks after administration. The group treated with prednisolone, dosage of 4 mg/kg, was much more inhibited than the group having doses of 1 mg/kg for 4 weeks. After the 4-week period, there were no difference between the 2 groups. The recovery from tuberculin skin reaction occurred within 48 hours after discontinuing the admi nistration of prednisolone. When the tuberculin skin reaction was markedly suppressed, antibodies to tuberculosis were not decreased accordingly and the leukocytes derived from the guinea pigs could transfer immunity to normal guinea pigs, eventhough with depressed skin reaction. Lymphopenia and eosinopenia occurred after the prednisolone administration and histologic examination of the skin tested showed a marked decrease of lymphocytes in the area. Regarding the mechanism of action on the tuberculin reaction, Germuth et al (1952) started that the same mechanism was involved in the suppression of nonspecific inflammatory reactions. Leathy & Morgan (1952) reported that cytotoxic action of PPD was inhibited by pretreatment of prednisolone. Wasserman (1967) also reported prednisolone inhibited the synthesis o£ DNA and RNA, and suppressed the mitosis of lymphocytes occurring after contact with antigen. The mechanism of prednisolone in inhibiting tuberculin reaction is still unknown and requires further study.

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