Prolactin receptors on human T and B lymphocytes: Antagonism of prolactin binding by cyclosporine

D. H. Russell, R. Kibler, L. Matrisian, D. F. Larson, B. Poulos, B. E. Magun

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348 Scopus citations


Prolactin (PRL) receptors have been identified recently on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC) and may be involved in the regulation of cell-mediated immunity. Cyclosporine (CsA), an immunosuppressive cyclic endecapeptide utilized to prolong graft survival in human organ transplant patients, affects PRL binding to MNC. At concentrations of CsA from 10-10 through 10-8 M, the amount of PRL bound to MNC markedly increased to ca. 400% of controls, whereas CsA concentrations of 10-6 and 10-5 M totally inhibited PRL binding to lymphocytes. The ability of low concentrations of CsA to enhance PRL binding was temperature-dependent and did not occur when binding assays were conducted at 4°C. PRL displaced [3H]CsA from lymphocytes with ca. 50% displacement at 10-9 M PRL and total displacement at concentrations of 10-7, 10-6, and 10-5 M. Growth hormone did not displace [3H]CsA in similar exeriments. CsA also did not alter the binding of a β-receptor antagonist to MNC, again suggesting that CsA was specific in its antagonism of PRL binding. A CsA analog with no immunosuppressive action, cyclosporin H, did not alter PRL binding to MNC. Furthermore, PRL receptors were demonstrated on four cell lines of human and mouse origin. Finally, PRL receptors were identified on purified populations of T and B lymphocytes isolated from human spleens, and CsA again inhibited PRL binding at concentrations of 10-7 and 10-6 M. The presence of PRL receptors on T and B lymphocytes suggests that PRL may be involved in the regulation of humoral and cell-mediated immunity, and that one effect of CsA on immune function may be its ability to inhibit the effects of PRL action on these lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3027-3031
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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