Enhancement of expression of activation markers on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells by in vitro culture with retinoids and carotenoids

R. H. Prabhala, V. Maxey, M. J. Hicks, R. R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Retinoids (retinol, retinoic acid, retinyl beta-glucuronide, and 13-cis retinoic acid) and carotenoids (beta-carotene and canthaxanthin) were evaluated for their immunomodulatory effects on human peripheral blood T-lymphocyte subpopulations and natural killer (NK) cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy young volunteers were isolated and incubated for 72 hours at various levels of retinoids and carotenoids including a physiological concentration (10-8M). Expression of surface antigens for total T cells, T-helper and T-suppressor cells, and activation markers (transferrin receptor, HLA-Dr antigen, and interleukin 2 receptor) were analyzed with an EPICS V flow cytometer. Retinoic acid and 13-cis retinoic acid (13 cRA) produced significant increases in the percentage of cells with markers for total T-helper cells, with a minimal effect on percentage of lymphocytes with markers for NK cells. However, beta-carotene (BC), canthaxanthin (CTX), and retinyl beta-glucuronide (RBG) dramatically increased the percentage of PBMC with markers for NK cells and produced a smaller increase in lymphocytes with surface antigens identifying them as T-helper cells. Furthermore, retinol and retinal did not show significant change either in the percentage of lymphocytes with markers for T-helper cells or in the helper/suppressor ratio. An increase in the expression of HLA-Dr antigen and transferrin receptors was greater when cells were incubated with 13-cRA than with either BC, CTX,or RBF, while carotenoids produced a greater increase in the expression of IL-2 receptors than 13-cRA. Our study indicates that both retinoids and carotenoids might be activating different subpopulations of immune cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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