Cyclohexylamine inhibits the adhesion of lymphocytic cells to human syncytiotrophoblast

Gordon C Douglas, Jinjie Hu, Twanda L. Thirkill, Karine Hovanes, Michael Fuller, Barry F. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that lymphocytic cells adhere to cultured syncytiotrophoblast and that this may be important in the lymphocyte-mediated infection of trophoblast with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). During the course of studies aimed at investigating the role of cell surface carbohydrates in adhesion, it was discovered that a contaminant of commercial fucose-l-phosphate, dicyclohexylamine, inhibited MOLT-trophoblast adhesion. Dicyclohexylamine and the related compounds, cyclohexylamine and hexylamine, inhibited adhesion in a dose-responsive manner with half-maximal inhibition seen at about 4 mM. While the pressor effects of cyclohexylamine, the principal metabolite of cyclamate, are well known, this is the first report of an effect of this and related compounds on cell adhesion activity. The inhibitory effect was reversible and, at concentrations less than 25 mM, did not result in loss of cell viability. Several possible mechanisms of action of cyclohexylamine were examined in an attempt to explain the effect on adhesion. No evidence was found to suggest that the effects of cyclohexylamine were due to inhibition of polyamine synthesis, increase in intracellular Ca2+ concentration or to a lysosomotropic effect. The concentrations of cyclohexylamine used are within the range of plasma concentrations attainable in humans, raising the possibility that the in vitro effects described here may also occur in vivo. The results also suggest that caution should be used in the interpretation of results obtained from experiments where cell adhesion is blocked using exogenous monosaccharides that are in the form of dicyclohexylammonium salts. Appropriate controls must be included or, if possible, sodium, potassium or barium salts should be chosen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 12 1995


  • Adhesion molecule
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cyclohexylamine
  • Fucose-1-phosphate
  • Leukocyte
  • Trophoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics


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