In this study we investigated whether the interindividual variability of lymphocyte sensitivity to cyclosporin A (CsA) could be controlled by the HLA region. The models used were the in vitro primary and secondary autologous (AMLR) and allogneic mixed lymphocyte (MLR) cultures of cells from 32 healthy subjects from our HLA reference panel. Our results show that CsA inhibited primary allogeneic MLR to a much greater extent than primary AMLR (-81 ± 2% vs -38 ± 8%, P <0.001). The same pattern was observed when cells harvested from CsA-treated primary cultures were rechallenged in secondary cultures with the original sensitizing stimulator cells (-40 ± 6% vs -17 ± 9%, P <0.05). No differences were observed in primary autologous and allogeneic cultures among responders of different HLA phenotypes. In contrast, the secondary responses did vary according to the HLA types: in secondary AMLR, CsA-priming did not lower, or even enhance, the proliferative responses of DR5+ and/or DR2+ lymphocytes (+7 ± 13%), whereas it significantly lowered the responses of DR2-5- cells (-46 ± 8%). In secondary MLR, lymphocytes proliferation was lowered by CsA-priming in all but DRW11(5)+ subjects (-45 ± 7% vs +2 ± 23%, P <0.05). It is concluded that the individual HLA phenotype influences the pattern of lymphocyte sensitivity to CsA.
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