Previous studies have shown that during the development of a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) levels of the chemotactic cytokines IL-8 and MCP-1 (members of the C-X-C and C-C supergene families, respectively) increase in a time-dependent fashion, and that the production of these chemokines correlates with the magnitude of responsiveness to alloantigen (13). Furthermore, the responsiveness to alloantigen in the context of a MLR has been shown to be regulated by the oxidative metabolism of L-arginine (12). We postulated that competitive antagonism of the L-arginine metabolic pathway in a human MLR may alter the production of members of the C-C and C-X-C chemokine families. To test this hypothesis, mononuclear cells were isolated from healthy individuals and subjected to a one-way MLR in the presence or absence of varying concentrations of an L-arginine competitive inhibitor, NG-methyl-L-arginine (NMA: 50 to 500 μM). When the MLR was performed in the presence of NMA (500 μM), the production of IL-8 increased twofold (P < 0.05) and ENA-78 increased fivefold (P < 0.05), while MCP-1 and MIP-1α were not significantly altered. These findings suggest that NMA, an inhibitor of the L-arginine metabolic pathway, may regulate the production of specific C-X-C chemokines, IL-8 and ENA-78, during a MLR. In contrast, the production of MCP-1 and MIP-1α, members of the C-C chemokine family, does not appear to be regulated by this inhibitor of the oxidative metabolism of L-arginine in the context of a MLR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas