Effect of in vitro colchicine and oral theophylline on suppressor cell function of asthmatic patients

D. Ilfeld, S. Kivity, E. Feierman, M. Topilsky, O. Kuperman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Extrinsic asthmatic patients have been reported to have a deficiency of concanavalin A (Con A)-induced suppressor cell function. We tested whether in vitro coclhicine and oral theophylline can correct this immunoregulatory abnormality. Asthmatic patients' mononuclear cells were incubated with Con A and/or colchicine and then suppression of proliferation was measured by coculture of these cells with healthy volunteers' mononuclear cells and phytohaemagglutinin. The Con A induced suppressor cell function of 29 theophylline treated patients (26 ± 16%, mean ± s.d.) was significantly (P < 0.002) increased as compared to 21 untreated patients (12 ± 10%) but significantly (P < 0.01) decreased as compared to 45 healthy volunteers (39 ± 17%). A pharmacological concentration (10-8 M) of colchicine had no significant effect on Con A-induced suppressor cell function of 19 untreated patients (from 12 ± 9% to 9 ± 22%) but significantly (P < 0.05) increased Con A-induced suppressor cell function of 20 theophylline treated patients (from 26 ± 17% to 36 ± 19%). Thus asthmatic patients have decreased Con A-induced suppressor cell function which is partially corrected by oral theophylline and almost completely corrected by oral theophylline plus in vitro colchicine. This synergistic effect raises the possibility that oral colchicine together with theophylline may be useful in treating patients with extrinsic asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-367
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 18 Dec 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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