Cyclosporin A directly inhibits human B-cell proliferation by more than a single mechanism

A. C. Hannam-Harris, D. S. Taylor, P. C. Nowell

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19 Scopus citations


Cyclosporin A (CsA) is a potent immunosuppressive agent that inhibits T-cell proliferation and lymphokine production. There is less information on the direct effect of CsA on B-cells. We investigated the proliferative responses of human tonsillar B-lymphocytes to a 'T dependent' mitogen, pokeweed mitogen (PWM), and a 'T independent' mitogen, Staphylococcus aureus (SA). Both responses were strongly inhibited by CsA. Nonspecific cytotoxicity was ruled out, and the inhibition was not reversed by adding IL1, IL2, or BCGF individually or in combination. Maximal inhibition of the PWM response occurred when CsA was added early in the culture period. Cyclosporin A added 18 hours after the start of culture was less effective, and adding CsA after 36 hours resulted in only minimal inhibition. However, with SA as mitogen, addition after 36 hours still affected substantial inhibition. These results, on the time of action and resistance to reversal by exogenous growth factors, suggest that CsA can directly inhibit human B-cells by a mechanism similar to its action on T-lymphocytes, blocking an early event critical to entry into cell cycle, but an additional mechanism of inhibition later in the cell cycle may also operate when the proliferative signal is provided by the T-independent mitogen SA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-239
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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