Effects of sulfasalazine on selected lymphocyte subpopulations in vivo and in vitro

Digestive Diseases and Sciences
W R ThayerC E Field


Sulfasalazine has proven to be an effective agent in the therapy of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Despite long and widespread usage, the mechanism of action of this drug is still not understood. Several investigators have suggested that the drug might act as an immunosuppressant. To examine this possibility, an in vivo study was undertaken to ascertain any quantitative change in the circulating T cells, Ig-bearing B cells, and complement receptor-bearing lymphocytes (CRL) of patients before and during therapy with sulfaslazine. Concomitant responses to skin test antigens were also evaluated. In vitro studies with control cells were performed to determine the influence of sulfasalazine and its components (sulfapyridine or 5-aminosalicylic acid) on the extent of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), as well as on the number of T cells and CRL. Results indicate that neither sulfasalazine nor either of its components quantitatively alters those subpopulations of circulating mononuclear cells studied in vivo or in vitro--nor are these compounds responsible for any functional inhibition of ADCC.


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Related Concepts

Mononuclear Cells
Lymphocytes as Percentage of Blood Leukocytes (Lab Test)
Lymphoid Cells
Sulfasalazin medac
Differential White Blood Cell Count Procedure
Complement Receptor
Complement Receptor Type 1

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