BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) with alloreactivity were induced when Wistar Furth (WF; RT1u) rats were immunized with allogeneic Brown Norway (BN; RT1n) cells. In contrast, when BN rats were immunized with WF cells, the allospecific response was confined to alloreactive natural killer (NK) cells, and no CTL activity was observed. In this study, the effect of cyclosporine (CsA) on the activation of alloreactive NK cells in vivo was analyzed. METHODS: Distinct peritoneal effector cells from rats immunized with allogenic cells with or without concomitant CsA and/or interleukin (IL) 2 treatment were tested for specific cytolytic activity. Furthermore, the presumptive role of NK cells in rejection immunity was addressed in a cardiac graft model. RESULTS: The results showed that doses of CsA that completely inhibited the activation of alloreactive CTL, only marginally affected the activation of alloreactive NK cells. We also showed that CsA treatment failed to prolong graft survival in BN recipients of WF hearts. Treatment of BN rats with CsA/IL-2 during immunization with allogeneic WF cells resulted in concomitant induction of alloreactive NK cells and alloreactive CTL. CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated that CsA failed to suppress the activation of alloreactive NK cells. Consequently, the cardiac graft survival in the donor-recipient combination known to activate alloreactive NK cells was not significantly prolonged by CsA treatment, emphasizing the involvement of NK cells as effectors in organ rejection. Furthermore, the parallel emergence of alloreactive NK cells and CTL only in the presence of CsA/IL-2 indicated that CsA interfered with alloreactive NK cell-associated suppression of CTL activated by allogeneic tissue.
Dental amalgam restorations are a significant source of mercury exposure in the human population, but their potential to cause systemic health effects is highly disputed. We examined effects on the immune system by giving genetically mercury-susceptible Brown Norway (BN) rats and mercury-resistant Lewis (LE) rats silver amalgam restorations in 4 molars of the upper jaw, causing a body burden similar to that described in human amalgam-bearers (from 250 to 375 mg amalgam/kg body weight). BN rats with amalgam restorations, compared with control rats given composite resinous restorations, developed a rapid activation of the immune system, with a maximum 12-fold increase of the plasma IgE concentration after 3 wks (p 0.05). After 12 wks, BN rats with amalgam restorations showed significantly increased (p spleen > cerebrum occipital lobe > cerebellum > liver > thymus, and the tissue silver concentration was significantly (p
The lymphoblastic response (LTT) to non-specific mitogens (PHA, PWM and ConA) of peripheral lymphocytes was investigated at days 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28 after adjuvant injection in four strains of inbred rats: Wistar (WAG), Long Evans (LE), Lewis (LEW) and Brown Norway (BN). LTT was assessed by using 18 hours H3 TdR incorporation in 5 days cultures of whole blood (micromethod). The statistical treatment of data, using principal components multifactorial analysis and analysis of variance showed a striking difference between strains. In control animals the responses to PHA and PWM were correlated and were higher in LE and WAG than in LEW and BN (BN=LEW less than LE=WAG). The response to ConA was independent of that to the other mitogens. It was generally low, but significantly higher in LEW and BN than in WAG and LE. In adjuvant-injected animals the responses to PHA and PWM were still correlated, but modified compared to control: in LE and LEW, but not in WAG and BN, a marked decrease of the response was found, reaching a minimum value within days 7 and 14. In the same time the response to ConA increased in the four strains, later in LE than in the others. However the intensity of the ConA response varied from one strain to another: it was constantly low in LE and WAG compared to LEW and BN. So the most striking modification of LTT were observed in LE and LEW, which both developed the most severe arthritis. However these different behaviours after adjuvant injection were not explained by the initial level of LTT to the different mitogens. These data suggest that the development of intense arthritis is associated with the proliferation and the release into the blood stream of a lymphocyte subpopulation, which exhibits a low response to PHA and PWM and a high response to ConA. These LTT modifications are not paralleled by quantitative variations of B-cells assessed by surface Ig immunofluorescent staining and EAC rosetting.
Low-dose methotrexate (MTX) is an established and highly effective treatment for severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis; however, its mechanism of action remains unclear. We investigated the effects of low-dose MTX on antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and explored through which cellular pathways these effects are mediated. We show that MTX caused a dose-dependent suppression of T cell activation and adhesion molecule expression, and this was not due to lymphocyte apoptosis. The suppression of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 was adenosine and folate-dependent, while MTX suppression of the skin-homing cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) was adenosine-independent. The effect of MTX on CLA, but not ICAM-1, required the constant presence of MTX in cultures. Thus, the suppression of T cell activation and T cell adhesion molecule expression, rather than apoptosis, mediated in part by adenosine or polyglutamated MTX or both, are important mechanisms in the anti-inflammatory action of MTX.
Several lichen species have been used traditionally as medicinal plants. It has previously been shown that two low-molecular-weight lichen metabolites, lobaric acid isolated from Stereocaulon alpinum Laur. and protolichesterinic acid isolated from Cetraria islandica L. (Ach.), have in-vitro inhibitory effects on arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase. We have studied the effects of these compounds on cultured cells from man, including three malignant cell-lines (T-47D and ZR-75-1 from breast carcinomas and K-562 from erythro-leukaemia), as well as normal skin fibroblasts and peripheral blood lymphocytes. Both test substances caused a significant reduction in DNA synthesis, as measured by thymidine uptake, in all three malignant cell-lines; the dose inducing 50% of maximum inhibition (ED50) was between 1.1 and 24.6 microg mL(-1) for protolichesterinic acid and between 14.5 and 44.7 microg mL(-1) for lobaric acid. The breast-cancer cell-lines were more sensitive than K-562. The proliferative response of mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes was inhibited with a mean ED50 of 8.4 microg mL(-1) and 24.5 microg mL(-1) for protolichesterinic acid and lobaric acid, respectively. These concentrations are of the same order of magnitude as the IC50 values in the 5-lipoxygenase assay. Significant cell death (assessed by the MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-( 4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) assay and trypan blue exclusion) occurred in the three malignant cell-lines at protolichesterinic acid and lobaric acid concentrations above 20 and 30 microg mL(-1), respectively. In K-562 morphological changes consistent with apoptosis were detected. Up to 38% cell death was observed at 20 microg mL(-1) for protolichesterinic acid and 15 microg mL(-1) for lobaric acid in mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes but unstimulated lymphocytes were clearly less sensitive. In contrast, the DNA synthesis, proliferation and survival of normal skin fibroblasts were not affected at doses up to 20 microg mL(-1) for protolichesterinic acid and 30 microg mL(-1) for lobaric acid. We conclude that the anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects observed might be related to the 5-lipoxygenase inhibitory activity of protolichesterinic acid and lobaric acid. These results open up the opportunity for future studies of these lichen metabolites with regard to their anti-tumour and anti-inflammatory properties.
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a procedure with a high risk of treatment related mortality. The primary aim of the present study was to examine associations between markers of gastrointestinal toxicity, markers of systemic inflammation, and plasma levels of microRNA (miRNA) -155 and -146a during the first month after HSCT. The secondary aim was to characterize the impact of the toxic-inflammatory response on the function of circulating leukocytes during immune recovery. Thirty HSCT patients were included. Gastrointestinal injury was monitored by toxicity scores, lactulose-mannitol test and plasma citrulline, as a measure of the enterocyte population. Nadir of citrulline and maximum of oral toxicity scores, intestinal permeability, CRP and plasma levels of IL-6 and IL-10 was seen at day +7 post-HSCT. miRNA-155 and mi-RNA-146a showed an inverse relation with significantly elevated miRNA-155 and decreased miRNA-146a levels, from day 0 to day +28 compared with pre-conditioning levels. Citrulline levels below the median at day +7 were associated with higher spontaneous production of IL-6 and TNF-a as well as higher in vitro stimulated production of IL-17A at day +21. This study is the first to demonstrate that toxic responses to chemotherapy are accompanied by differential regulation of miRNAs with opposing effects on immune regulation. We find that a proinflammatory miRNA profile is sustained during the first three weeks after the transplantation, indicating that these miRNAs may play a role in the regulation of the inflammatory environment during immune reconstitution after HSCT.
In this work, cell-mediated immunity to Chlamydia pneumoniae was studied in 157 healthy individuals using lymphoproliferative assay and serum antibodies were analysed by microimmunofluorescence techniques. The C. pneumoniae-specific IgG antibodies were elevated more frequently and the geometric mean titres for IgG (67.5 versus 44.1; P = 0.05) and IgA (14.9 versus 11.3; P = 0.025) antibodies were significantly higher in males than in females. However, no gender-dependent differences were observed in cellular reactivity to C. pneumoniae, since the median cellular responses were similar (stimulation indices 7.5) in men and women. Although the cell-mediated and humoral responses to C. pneumoniae did not correlate clearly, elevated IgG antibodies were associated with slightly higher lymphocyte proliferation in comparison to all subjects (15.5 versus 7.5) and significantly stronger in comparison to those with persistently elevated IgA (> 80) antibodies (15.5 versus 3.5; P = 0.023). Further studies are needed to evaluate a possible role of reduced cellular reactivity in the cause of chronic C. pneumoniae infection.