Lipoxygenase inhibitors enhance the proliferation of human B cells

T. W. Behrens, L. G. Lum, E. A. Lianos, J. S. Goodwin

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20 Scopus citations


The addition of drugs which inhibit the lipoxygenase pathways of arachidonic acid metaboism to 5 day cultures of mitogen-stimulated human B cells enhanced the proliferative response more than 10-fold. Several chemically dissimilar lipoxygenase inhibitors increased proliferation in this system, whereas the specific cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin had no effect. A lipoxygenase inhibitor could be added as late as 48 to 72 h after the initiation of culture and still cause a significant increase in B cell proliferation. These drugs increased the proliferation of both peripheral blood B cells and tonsillar B cells activated by Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I or anti-IgM antibodies, in combination with a crude T cell supernate, a commercial B cell growth factor preparation, or recombinant lymphotoxin. A similar effect was observed in tonsillar B cells purified by counterflow centrifugal elutriation to remove esterase positive accessory cells, suggesting this is a direct effect on the B cell. Lipoxygenase blockade also caused a greater than twofold increase in polyclonal Ig production. The enhanced proliferation caused by lipoxygenase blockade could not be reversed by adding back exogenous leukotrienes or hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids to the cultures. Furthermore, B cells prelabeled with [3H]arachidonic acid did not produce radiolabeled lipoxygenase metabolites of arachidonic acid under the same culture conditions in which the addition of lipoxygenase inhibitors had a profound effect on proliferation. Thus, lipoxygenase inhibitors markedly stimulate B cell proliferation under a variety of experimental conditions, although the mechanism responsible for this action has not yet been elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2294
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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