Bretylium Differentiates between Distinct Signal Transducing Pathways in Human Lymphocytes

C. Pieri, Z. Bacso, R. Recchioni, F. Moroni, M. Balazs, R. Gaspar, S. Damjanovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The selection of signal transducing pathways of T cells depends on the type of triggers. Antigens, antibodies or lectins induce the T cell receptor-CD3 operated pathway, and IL-2 transmits its activation signal via the IL-2 receptor. It has been demonstrated that bretylium, a quaternary ammonium ion, can significantly inhibit the first pathway at the same dose range that stimulates cell activation through the IL-2 receptor system. In the light of the different complexity of the two pathways at the plasma membrane level, and the non-toxic and reversible behavior of the drug, it is suggested that the bretylium induced sustained membrane hyperpolarization is responsible for the observation. This finding may open new possibilities in studying the mechanism of different signal transducing pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-659
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 29 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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