Immunosuppression by phenytoin: Implication for altered immune competence in brain-tumor patients

K. Kikuchi, C. I. McCormick, E. A. Neuwelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This investigation was conducted to examine the immunosuppressive potential of phenytoin in vivo and to document a correlation between phenytoin therapy and depressed lymphocyte responsiveness to mitogens. It was thought that phenytoin, the most widely used anticonvulsant agent, may play some role in the immunosuppression seen in brain-tumor patients. The effect of phenytoin on mitogen-stimulated lymphocyte function was evaluated by tritiated (3H)-thymidine incorporation and lymphocyte nuclear size distribution. Lymphocytes from either phenytoin-treated or normal rabbits were incubated for 90 hours in culture medium in the presence of 3 mitogens: phytohemagglutinin (PHA), concanavalin A (Con A), and pokeweed mitogen (PWM). Significant suppression of mitogen-induced activation of the lymphocytes from treated animals was demonstrated. The present studies suggest a possible connection beween phenytoin therapy and altered immune competence in brain-tumor patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1085-1090
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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