Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 15–22 | Cite as

Zinc inhibits the mixed lymphocyte culture

  • Cathrin A Campo
  • Nele Wellinghausen
  • Christian Faber
  • Andrea Fischer
  • Lothar Rink


The mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) is an established clinical method for bone marrow transplantation, as it serves as an in vitro model for allogenic reaction and transplantation. We previously showed that cytokine release into the supernatant is a more specific and sensitive parameter for cross-reactivity in the MLC than the common measurement of cell proliferation. Therefore we tried to find an inhibitor of the MLC in vitro with the least side effects in vivo, measuring interferon (IFN)-γ as one of the most important cytokines in posttransplant medicine. Earlier studies showed that zinc is an important trace element for immune function with both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on immune cells. We found that slightly elevated zinc concentrations (three to four times the physiological level), which do not decrease T-cell proliferation in vitro nor produce immunosuppressive effects in vivo, suppress alloreactivity in the mixed lymphocyte culture. In this report we analyzed the mechanism whereby zinc influences the MLC to possibly find a nontoxic way of immunosuppression.

Index Entries

Mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) trace elements zinc 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cathrin A Campo
    • 1
  • Nele Wellinghausen
    • 2
  • Christian Faber
    • 1
  • Andrea Fischer
    • 1
  • Lothar Rink
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Immunology and Transfusion MedicineUniversity of Lübeck School of MedicineLübeckGermany
  2. 2.Section of Infectious Diseases and Clinical ImmunologyUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

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