Author(s): Sizemore RC, Dienglewicz RL, Pecunia E, Gottlieb AA
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Abstract We have developed a system in which human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated with concanavalin A (Con A) can be examined for regulatory cell activity upon coculture with responder cells undergoing mitogenic proliferation. Low concentrations of Con A resulted in the induction of helper function, while higher concentrations of Con A induced suppressor activity in the PBMC population. However, for each individual donor a particular concentration of Con A can be found at which point no regulatory cell activity is observed. This "balance point" provides a set of conditions under which the ability of an immunomodulator to up-regulate or down-regulate the system can be studied. The ability of leu-enkephalin to positively or negatively regulate an immune response was examined under these circumstances. The addition of leu-enkephalin to cultures stimulated by Con A at this balance point enhanced both suppressor cell (Ts) and helper cell (Th) activity in a concentration-dependent manner. The induction of Ts activity displayed a bimodal response at concentrations between 10(-12) to 10(-13) M and 10(-9) to 10(-10) M, while the induction of Th activity was consistently observed at 10(-11) M. Similar effects were seen with either of the peptides Tyr-Gly and Tyr-Gly-Gly, corresponding to the first two and three amino acids of the N-terminal ends of the enkephalins. Th activity was consistently enhanced at 10(-13) M Tyr-Gly-Gly and 10(-14) M Tyr-Gly. This suggests that leu-enkephalin may either positively or negatively regulate immune responses and that the intact leu-enkephalin molecule is not required for these effects.
This article was published in Clin Immunol Immunopathol
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology