Regulation of lymphocyte activation: Macrophage-dependent suppression of T lymphocyte protein synthesis

L. Varesio, H. T. Holden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors investigated the influence of macrophages on lymphocyte protein synthesis in C57BL/6N mice. When activated macrophages recovered from MSV-induced regressing tumors or peritoneal macrophages induced by C. parvum injection were cultured for 6 hr with resting or Concanavalin A-stimulated normal spleen cells, a decrease of protein synthesis was observed. In contrast, peritoneal macrophages induced by injection of light mineral oil or a microphage cell line, WEHI-3, were completely ineffective. When the mixed cultures of normal spleen cells and macrophages were fractionated, the authors found that Thy 1.2 positive, nylon-nonadherent cells, but not plastic adherent cells, had a depressed protein synthesis. The suppressor cells, on the contrary, were Thy 1.2 negative, adherent, and phagocytic. The authors concluded that activated macrophages are able to inhibit T cell protein synthesis. In comparative studies, they found that the macrophage-dependent suppression of protein synthesis correlated with the capacity of the macrophage to suppress production of a lymphokine, migration inhibitory factor, by in vitro stimulated lymphocytes. The possibility that an early block of protein synthesis is one mechanism through which suppressor macrophages inhibit the immune response is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1694-1701
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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