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Pharmacol Rep. 2018 Aug;70(4):796-803. doi: 10.1016/j.pharep.2018.02.015. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Cyclophosphamide-modified murine peritoneal macrophages induce CD4+ T contrasuppressor cells that protect contact sensitivity T effector cells from suppression.

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Department of Medical Biology, Jagiellonian University College of Medicine, Kraków, Poland.
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Medical Biology, Jagiellonian University College of Medicine, Kraków, Poland. Electronic address:



Cyclophosphamide (CY) is one of the most widely used alkylating agents in the treatment of various cancers and some autoimmune diseases. Numerous reports suggest that CY exerts immunoregulatory effects. Animal studies have shown CY affects contact sensitivity (CS) response by depleting CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells and CD8+ T suppressor (Ts) cells. In a mouse model of CS, we previously showed that in vivo treatment with CY shapes the immunogenic/immunoregulatory balance of peritoneal macrophages. The aim of the current study is to verify if macrophages (Mf) from CY-treated mice are indeed able to induce immunoregulatory cells that could protect from suppression.


Adoptive cell transfer of CS was used to examine immunomodulating properties of peritoneal Mf from CY-treated mice. Isolation of peritoneal Mf from animals that were (Mf-CY) or were not (Mf) treated with CY were cultured to identify cytokine repertoire. Further, we assessed spleen cell (SPLC) cytokine production following immunization with trinitrophenyl-conjugated Mf from donors treated (TNP-Mf-CY) or non-treated (TNP-Mf) with CY.


In vitro experiments identified that Mf-CY produce more IL-6, TNF-α and TGF-β than naïve Mf. Further, immunization with peritoneal TNP-Mf-CY induces CD4+ T contrasuppressor cells (Tcs) cells that protect CS-effector cells from suppression. Higher IL-17A secretion was observed from TNP-Mf-CY-treated mouse SPLC compared to SPLC from TNP-Mf injected mice suggesting that this cytokine might be important in mediating contrasuppression in this model.


Our results show that in vivo treatment with CY influences mouse peritoneal Mf to induce CD4+ Tcs cells that protect CS-effector cells from suppressive signals of Ts cells.


Contact sensitivity; Contrasuppressor T cells; Cyclophosphamide; Peritoneal macrophages

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