Zinc-induced activation of human B lymphocytes
The in vitro effect of zinc chloride on human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) was studied in a plaque-forming cell assay. Following in vitro culture in the presence of zinc for 6 days, PBL from normal donors were found to contain activated lymphocytes capable of inducing lysis of sheep red blood cells. Microscopic enumeration of these plaque-forming cells indicated that zinc is as strongly stimulating to human B cells as pokeweed mitogen, purified protein derivative, or diphtheria toxoid. Splenic B cells and lymph node B cells were also activated by zinc as indicated by a positive plaque-forming cell response. In contrast, PBL from patients with hypogammaglobulinemia and spleen cells from one of these patients cultured with zinc failed to produce plaque-forming cells. Study of zinc activation of plaque-forming cells in experiments with PBL from healthy donors in which the effect of zinc and purified protein derivative were analyzed separately and together provided evidence that zinc exerts a synergistic effect on B-cell activation. © 1980.
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