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The mechanism of immunosuppression with adenine


, : The mechanism of immunosuppression with adenine. International Journal of Immunopharmacology 7(4): 433-442

Studies on the mechanism, of immunosuppression shown by adenine comprised 2 areas. Toxicity studies on hepatic, muscle and renal tissues were undertaken to ascertain if immunosuppression was a result of a non specific toxicity. Studies to determine whether immunosuppression is a function of the inhibitory effect on de novo and salvage pathways of purine nucleotide metabolism. Toxicity studies in mice indicated that adenine caused an acute, reversible renal tubular necrosis and that allopurinol, when combined with adenine, could abrogate both the renal toxicity and immunosuppressive activity of the purine base. This result indicated that the toxic and/or immunosuppressive compound may be a xanthine oxidase catalyzed product of adenine. Further studies indicated that it was unlikely that a major part of the immunosuppressive activity of adenine was due to the renal toxicity exerted by this compound. Splenic PRPP (5'-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate) levels were found to peak on day 4 after antigen administration (day 0) and this corresponded with the peak in antibody plaque response which occurred at day 4 to 5. Adenine given at an immunosuppressive dose of 25 .mu.mol/mouse on day 0, 1 resulted in a significant inhibition of splenic PRPP levels on day 2 of the response. This effect on splenic PRPP levels on day 2 was also found with hypoxanthine given at an immune enhancing dose and therefore would indicate that depression of splenic PRPP per se is not responsible for the immunosuppression. Adenosine given at immunosuppressive doses was found not to affect PRPP levels in the spleen and hepatic PRPP levels were unaffected by adenine, adenosine and hypoxanthine. The in vivo effects of adenine on hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase showed that adenine could inhibit significantly this salvage pathway in spleen and liver and that this inhibition could be overcome with concomitant administration of allopurinol. A metabolite of adenine which could contribute to its immunosuppressive activity may be 2-hydroxyadenine since it is derived from the xanthine oxidase catalyzed oxidation of adenine, inhibited hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase, gave similar renal toxicity to adenine and was immunosuppressive.

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