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J Nutr. 2001 May;131(5):1479-84.

In vivo biotin supplementation at a pharmacologic dose decreases proliferation rates of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and cytokine release.

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Department of Nutritional Science and Dietetics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA.


Theoretically, vitamin supplements may either enhance or reduce protein synthesis and proliferation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). In the present study, we determined whether administration of a pharmacologic dose of biotin affects proliferation rates of PBMC and cytokine release. Healthy adults (n = 5) ingested 3.1 micromol biotin/d for 14 d; blood and urine were collected pre- and postsupplementation. PBMC were isolated by density gradient and incubated with the mitogen concanavalin A for up to 3 d. At timed intervals during mitogen stimulation, we measured the following: 1) cellular uptake of [(3)H]thymidine to determine proliferation rates; 2) concentrations of various cytokines released into the medium; and 3) the percentages of PBMC subsets as judged by CD surface markers. Biotin supplementation caused a significant decrease of PBMC proliferation. At 2 d after mitogen stimulation, [(3)H]thymidine uptake by postsupplementation PBMC was 66 +/- 21% of the uptake by presupplementation PBMC (P < 0.05). Similarly, concentrations of interleukin-1beta (2 d after mitogen) and interleukin-2 (1 d after mitogen) in media from postsupplementation PBMC were 65 +/- 28% and 44 +/- 23%, respectively, of those for presupplementation PBMC (P < 0.01). Percentages of PBMC subsets were not affected by 14 d of biotin supplementation. Overall, this study provides evidence that administration of pharmacologic doses of biotin for 14 d decreases PBMC proliferation and synthesis of interleukin-1beta and interleukin-2.

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