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Cell Immunol. 1991 Oct 1;137(1):232-8.

Hexadecylphosphocholine-mediated enhancement of T-cell responses to interleukin 2.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


The effect of low-dose hexadecylphosphocholine (He-PC) on normal peripheral mononuclear cells (PMNC) was studied. Interferon-gamma (IFN-g) production, interleukin 2 (IL-2) receptor, and HLA-DR antigen expression were investigated, representing typical T-cell activation parameters. In PMNC cultures, He-PC dose-dependently enhanced the production of IFN-g, provided IL-2 had been added exogenously. Without IL-2 He-PC was ineffective. In some cultures, at a concentration of 8 micrograms/ml He-PC stimulated the secretion of IFN-g more than 20-fold compared to untreated controls. Although He-PC by itself lacked mitogenic activity, this compound also stimulated IFN-g production in the presence of suboptimal doses of phytohemagglutinin (PHA). Immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that He-PC also increased IL-2 receptor and HLA-DR antigen expression under these experimental conditions. Taken together, these results indicate that He-PC may possess immunomodulatory activity also in vivo, acting as a costimulator for the IL-2-mediated T-cell activation process.

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