Novel mechanisms of brequinar sodium immunosuppression on T cell activation

T L ForrestS M Denning


Brequinar sodium (BQR) is a novel immunosuppressive agent that acts by inhibiting the activity of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, the fourth enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. The activity of BQR as an immunosuppressive agent is believed to be inhibition of antigen-induced lymphocyte proliferation through inhibition of DNA and RNA synthesis. BQR, therefore, has a different mechanism of action than cyclosporine and may potentiate the immunosuppressive effects of cyclosporine. In this study, we determined the effect of BQR on peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) activation in a series of in vitro culture systems. In these studies, BQR inhibited PHA-stimulated activation in a dose-dependent fashion beginning at 10(-6) M. The immunosuppressive effect of BQR was similar in magnitude to cyclosporine. Proliferation assays suggested an additive immunosuppression by the combination of BQR and cyclosporine. Similar inhibition of CD2-stimulated or CD3-stimulated activation of PBMC was found. The mechanisms of action of BQR were complex. BQR inhibited interleukin 2 protein production in response to mitogen stimulation. Cell surface interleukin 2 receptor expression was inhibited by BQR. BQR inhibited cell cycle progre...Continue Reading


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