Inhibition of Cytokine Production and Cytokine-Stimulated T-Cell Activation by FK506 (Tacrolimus)1

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Abstract:



Insofar as it exerted its immunosuppressive effect by inhibiting cytokine expression, we assessed the effect of FK506 (Tacrolimus) on cytokine-stimulated T-cell activation. Human T cells, treated with FK506, or controls were stimulated with the mitogens PHA + PMA, Con A, and the “CD3-bypass” stimulation regimen, PMA + ionomycin. T-cell proliferation was quantitated by measuring the uptake of tritiated thymidine, and mRNA expression was assessed by RT-PCR. FK506, in a concentration-dependent fashion, inhibited T-cell proliferation and steady-state mRNA expression of IL-2 and IL-7; half-maximal suppression was obtained at 10-7 to 5 × 10-8 M. We tested whether FK506 antiproliferative effect could be overcome with exogenously reconstituted rIL-2 and/or rIL-7. Neither rIL-2 nor rIL-7, individually in conjunction with suboptimal concentrations of PHA or Con A, or in combination without any costimulus, was capable of abrogating FK506 antiproliferative effect, indicating that FK506 also acted by inhibiting cytokine-stimulated T-cell activation. To confirm this, T cells were treated with FK506 and stimulated by rIL-2 and rIL-7, individually in conjunction with suboptimal concentration of PHA and Con A. In addition, T cells were stimulated with rIL-2 and rIL-7 without any costimuli. FK506 inhibited T-cell activation stimulated by rIL-2 and by rIL-7, individually and in combination. This confirms that, in exerting its antiproliferative effect, FK506 acts at two levels, by inhibiting cytokine availability and by suppressing cytokine effect on target cells, and explains the beneficial effect of FK506 in attenuating ongoing immune responses.

Keywords: Key words: FK506; Interleukin-2; Interleukin-7; T

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000001783986387

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Medical Biochemistry, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain 2: †Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada 3: §Renal Transplantation Unit, St. Georges-Orthodox Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon 4: ‡Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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