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By Henry G. Kunkel (ed.), Frank J. Dixon (ed.)

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Kinetic study disclosed that the development of plaque-forming cells, in cultures with 2-ME, progressed at an exponential rate earlier and for longer periods than in cultures lacking the reducing agent. They confirmed that depletion of adherent cells would result in marked reduction of the antibody response and that addition of peritoneal macrophages would reconstitute it. Their experiments indicated that addition of %ME resulted in a marked improvement of the response of the accessory cell-depleted spleens and that the 2-ME had to be present for at least 72 hours in cultures.

Early reports described that addition of %ME to cultures enhanced the proliferative response of lymphocytes to ligands 26 EMIL R. Click and associates (1972)were the first to examine the effects of 2-ME on the antibody response to SRBC using the method of Mishell and Dutton. They found that addition of 2-ME, at an optimal dose of 2 x M, resulted in a marked increase in the plaque-forming cell response of unfractionated spleen cells. This increase was clearly not associated with a promotion of cell viability.

Do they have a direct effect, or is it through a secondary product? Broome and Jeng (1974) made a very thorough analysis of the effect of various thiols on the growth of normal spleen cells and various lymphoid tumor lines. Normal spleen cells and 13 of 22 tumor lines 28 EXIIL R . UNANUE had increased growth in cultures when various thiols were added. In contrast, other cell lines-HeLa or fibroblasts, for example-were not influenced. There is general agreement now, from their studies, the early reports referred to before, and from recent publications, that thiols are very important growth potentiators for lymphocytes.

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