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Immunomethods. 1994 Apr;4(2):139-47.

Lymphocyte activation-31P magnetic resonance studies of energy metabolism and phospholipid pathways.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Tel-Aviv Medical Center, Israel.


31P NMR spectra of perfused lymphocytes embedded in alginate capsules and activated by interleukin-2 (IL-2) are remarkably different from those of control lymphocytes. The main differences are the appearance and gradual increase of phosphodiester signals, glycerophosphocholine and glycerophosphoethanolamine. These metabolic changes also occur following perfusion with phorbol ester and after incubation with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and are not dependent on a special growth medium. Nifedipine, a calcium channel blocking drug, inhibits the effects of PHA, but not of IL-2. There are no NMR spectral differences between peripheral lymphocytes, stimulated for 3 weeks, and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Thus, sustained accelerated turnover of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine is an inherent feature of the activation process. 31P NMR spectra of lymphocytes are characterized by a low phosphocholine signal. Perfusion studies with high concentrations of choline and the use of dapsone, an inhibitor of phosphocholine cytidyltransferase, indicate that choline kinase plays a key role in regulating PC synthesis in human lymphocytes.

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