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Abstract

Castration has long been recognized to stimulate thymic growth and augment cellular immunity. We sought to determine whether castration affects B lymphopoiesis by analyzing the phenotype of bone marrow and spleen cells from animals postcastration. In this report, we show that the bone marrow cells from castrated male mice show a sustained, twofold to threefold increase in numbers of B220+/IgM- cells and of newly formed B220+/IgM+ B cells. Most of the expanded B220+/IgM- cell population consisted of small, HSAhi, CD43- cells characteristic of pre- B cells. The castrated animals also showed increased numbers of splenic B cells, primarily consisting of small IgM+, IgDlo, B220lo, HSAhi cells. Taken together, these results show that castration causes dramatic, long-lived enhancement of B lymphopoiesis in bone marrow and increased numbers of mature B cells in the periphery.