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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Jun;81(12):3835-7.

Immunosuppression in vitro by a metabolite of a human pathogenic fungus.


Gliotoxin , a metabolite of Aspergillus fumigatus, inhibits phagocytosis of macrophages at concentrations of 20-50 ng/ml. Pretreatment of stimulator cells in mixed lymphocyte cultures with gliotoxin (100 ng/ml) abrogates induction of alloreactive cytotoxic T cells. The presence of gliotoxin 48 hr after initiation of cytotoxic T-cell induction has no effect. Inhibition of cytotoxic T-cell induction by gliotoxin at low concentrations, acting on the stimulator cells, can be overridden by concanavalin A-activated cell supernatants. Gliotoxin does not induce immediate cell-surface antigen modification on target cells. The possible role of gliotoxin in the etiology of A. fumigatus-related diseases is discussed.

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