Lysozyme deficiency - an inherited disorder of rabbits

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A genetic disorder of rabbits consisting of a deficiency of the enzyme lysozyme is characterized. The condition appears to be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Most of the tissues of lysozyme deficient rabbits including bone marrow, liver, lung, spleen and bone had levels of lysozyme which were 1% or less of the levels in the corresponding tissues of normal rabbits when measured with the lysoplate method. Levels of lysozyme in the kidney and serum were 6% of controls, but the thymus of the lysozyme deficient rabbits had normal levels of the enzyme. All leukocytes of the lysozyme deficient rabbits were negative for lysozyme when examined by a histobacterial technic. No morphologic lesions could be detected in any of the tissues of the lysozyme deficient rabbits. Although species of animals have been reported to be lysozyme deficient, this appears to be the first report of lysozyme deficiency occurring as a mutant condition. It is suggested that these mutant rabbits may be useful as a resource for experiments designed to delineate the biologic role of lysozyme.

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American Journal of Pathology

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