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Mediators Inflamm. 2008;2008:298010. doi: 10.1155/2008/298010. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Suppressive effect of hydroquinone, a benzene metabolite, on in vitro inflammatory responses mediated by macrophages, monocytes, and lymphocytes.

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  • 1School of Bioscience and Biotechnology and the Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea.


We investigated the inhibitory effects of hydroquinone on cytokine release, phagocytosis, NO production, ROS generation, cell-cell/cell fibronectin adhesion, and lymphocyte proliferation. We found that hydroquinone suppressed the production of proinflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1beta, and IL-6], secretion of toxic molecules [nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS)], phagocytic uptake of FITC-labeled dextran, upregulation of costimulatory molecules, U937 cell-cell adhesion induced by CD18 and CD29, and the proliferation of lymphocytes from the bone marrow and spleen. Considering that (1) environmental chemical stressors reduce the immune response of chronic cigarette smokers and children against bacterial and viral infections and that (2) workers in petroleum factories are at higher risk for cancer, our data suggest that hydroquinone might pathologically inhibit inflammatory responses mediated by monocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes.

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