We report the results of a study on the immunoglobulin levels of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in a colony consisting of the survivors of monkeys that received a single whole-body exposure to protons, electrons or X rays between 1964 and 1969. This colony has been maintained to assess the long-term effects of ionizing radiation on astronauts and high-flying pilots. Of the original 358 monkeys that were retained for lifetime studies, 129 (97 irradiated and 32 controls) were available for our study. We found no significant difference between the irradiated and control monkeys in mean levels of IgA, IgG and IgM, irrespective of the radiation treatment. The availability of these aged monkeys provided a unique opportunity to compare their immunoglobulin levels to those of other monkeys of various ages, and thus assess the effect of age on immunoglobulin levels. We found that only the IgA levels increase with age.

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