PMID: 6256660Jan 22, 1981Paper

Cyclosporin A promotes spontaneous outgrowth in vitro of Epstein-Barr virus-induced B-cell lines

A G BirdS Britton


Cyclosporin A (CSA) is a fungal metabolite which exerts profound effects on the immune system and has potential as a selective immuno-suppressive agent. Clinical trials with human renal allograft recipients have confirmed this potential but there have been disturbing reports of lymphoma in a significant number of patients. Despite extensive animal studies, the specificity of this drug for human lymphocyte subpopulations is largely unknown. We demonstrate here that in vitro CSA has no apparent effect on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced B-lymphocyte activation, but totally inhibits the T-cell dependent pokeweed mitogen (PWM) B-cell response. In addition, CSA markedly facilitates the outgrowth of B-lymphoblastoid cell lines from both EBV-infected and non-infected lymphocytes of EBV immune donors cultured in vitro. These results indicate that CSA can interfere with the lymphocytes normally responsible for maintaining the life-long carrier state initiated by primary infection with EBV, allowing outgrowth of the persistently infected cells circulating in the peripheral blood.


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