Immunosuppressive properties of polar organic compounds that induce cellular differentiation in friend erythroleukemia cells

Manikkam Suthanthiran, Albert L. Rubin, Abraham Novogrodsky, Kurt H. Stenzel

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We studied the effect of several polar organic compounds, known to induce erythroid differentiation in Friend leukemia (FL) cells, on in vitro human lymphocyte responses and on skin graft survival in mice. The short chain fatty acids, butyric acid (BA), propionic acid (PA), valerie acid, and the polar organic solvents, dimethyl sulfoxide, dimethylformamide, and dimethylacetamide, all mediated significant inhibition of alloantigeninduced proliferation and generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in human primary and secondary mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) reactions. Hexamethylenebisacetemide, another potent inducer of differentiation in FL cells, also mediated significant suppression. Inhibition of MLC with polar organic compounds was accomplished at concentrations known to induce differentiation in FL cells and that are not cytotoxic to peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In distinct contrast, agents that are structurally related to BA, but that do not induce differentiation in FL cells, such as caproic acid, β-OHBA, γ-amino BA, and isobutyric acid, did not exhibit immunosuppressive properties. Pokeweed mitogen-driven polyclonal B cell activation was also suppressed by agents that induce erythroid differentiation in FL cells. In addition to potent in vitro immunosuppressive properties, supplementation of drinking water with BA or PA resulted in prolongation of full-thickness skin grafts in DBA/2 (H-2d) to C57BL/6 (H-2b) donor-recipient combinations. Our findings indicate that polar organic compounds that induce differentiation in FL cells are potent immunosuppressive agents.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology

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