Immunosuppressive activity of 15-deoxyspergualin on normal and autoimmune peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Ferdinando Nicoletti, M. Orietta Borghi, Wilma Barcellini, Cristina Fain, Barbara Beltrami, Nicoletta Del Papa, Hans U. Schorlemmer, Learco Mottola, Pier Luigi Meroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several experimental conditions were used in this study to evaluate the in vitro effects of I5-deoxyspergualin on the function of T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and monocytes from healthy subjects and patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus. Whilst the secretion of polyclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) M and IgG from the B lymphocytes of the healthy subjects was diminished by 15-deoxyspergualin, neither the proliferative response of normal T and B cells to mitogenic stimulation nor the cytokine secretory capacity of these cells (e.g. interleukin-2, -4, -6 and γ-interferon) and monocytes (e.g. interleukin-1β and -6) were affected by the drug. In contrast, on the mononuclear cells obtained from the lupus patients not only did 15-deoxyspergualin inhibit the spontaneous production of polyclonal and anti-DNA IgG antibodies but also suppressed interleukin-1β secretion from the monocytes. Other functional responses of T and B cells and monocytes from lupus patients, including mitogenic activation and cytokine secretion, were not altered by the drug. These data suggest that 15-deoxyspergualin possesses a novel mechanism of pharmacological immunosuppression apparently different from that of other immunosuppressants, such as cyclosporin A, FK506 and corticosteroids, that seems to be primarily displayed at the level of autoreactive B cells and monocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 12 1996


  • 15-Deoxyspergualin
  • B cell
  • Cytokine
  • Monocyte
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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