The effect of transportation stress on splenic natural killer cell activity in C57BL/6J mice.

H. N. Aguila, S. P. Pakes, W. C. Lai, Y. S. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Splenic natural killer cell activity and plasma corticosterone levels were measured in air- and truck-transported C57BL/6J mice (Mus musculus) on days 0, 1, 3 and 5 post-arrival. These data are important in determining adequate stabilization periods for transported animals before studies involving natural killer cells are begun. Three control groups (phosphate buffered saline, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, and hydrocortisone injected mice) were stabilized in the animal facilities 3 weeks before the start of experiments. Natural killer activity in transported mice was reduced significantly (p less than 0.05) on day 0 and returned to normal levels by 24 hours. Plasma corticosterone levels were increased significantly (p less than 0.005) on day 0 and returned to control levels by day 1, correlating inversely with splenic natural killer activity. This study indicates that stress resulting from transportation causes a short-term decrease in the splenic natural killer cell activity of mice, and this decrease may be related to the increased plasma corticosterone levels induced by the stressful event. We conclude that mice should be stabilized at least 24 hours before experiments involving the natural killer cell system are begun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-151
Number of pages4
JournalLaboratory animal science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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