Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Kimberly A. Freitag
Title:Effects of Acute Nutritional Deprivation on Lymphocyte Subsets and Membrane Function in Cats
Degree:Master of Science
Committee Chair: Elizabeth Thomas
Committee Members:Korinn Saker, co-chair
William Barbeau
Keywords:CD4, CD8, starvation, calcium
Date of defense:April 10, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


Effects of Acute Nutritional Deprivation on Lymphocyte Subsets and Membrane Function in Cats Kimberly A. Freitag (ABSTRACT) Identification of patients with suboptimal nutritional status allows for early treatment intervention. Currently, no definitive test of nutritional status exists. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify possible functional indicators of acute nutritional deprivation. The effects of total nutritional deprivation and subsequent refeeding on lymphocyte functions and subpopulations were examined in 23 healthy cats. Peripheral blood samples were analyzed at various times during fasting and refeeding periods. During the fasting period, decreases were observed in leukocyte number (day 4; p < 0.04), lymphocyte number (p < 0.02), CD4+ cells (day 4; p < 0.06), CD4:CD8 ratio (0 hours; p < 0.004), and mitogen stimulated CD4:CD8 ratio (72 hours; p < 0.15) during the fasting period as compared to baseline. Increases were seen in CD4+ cells (day 7; p < 0.09), CD8+ cells (day 7; p < 0.04) and intracellular calcium (day 4; p < 0.02) as compared to baseline. During the refeeding period increases (p < 0.05) were observed in leukocyte number, CD4+ cells, CD8+ cells, lymphocyte proliferation (p < 0.07) and lymphocyte number (p < 0.004) as compared to day 7. These findings suggest that 7 days starvation had immunosuppressive effects on cats which were alleviated during 7 days refeeding. The use of CD4:CD8 ratio in conjunction with intracellular calcium flux may be useful as indices of nutritional status.

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