Mouse splenocyte proliferation and its modulation by sex steroids
Concanavalin A, a T cell mitogen enhanced DNA synthesis in murine splenocytes. Amongst the early signals prior to this event was an increase in cytosolic calcium derived from both intra- and extracellular sources. The requirements for extracellular calcium persisted for four hours after the lectin administration which itself was needed for six hours. Putative calcium channel antagonists and calmodulin inhibitors blocked ihe increase in DNA synthesis. The calcium signal was mimicked by application of the ionophore, A23187, although no increase in DNA synthesis occurred. An activator of protein kinase C, 12-0- tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate, had little effect in isolation but the combined application of these two agents greatly enhanced DNA synthesis. The natural mediators of these events are presumed to be inositol trisphosphate and diacylglycerol derived from phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate hydrolysis. Lectin application and protein kinase C activation both increased intracellular pH possibly as a result of Na'l'/H"'' exchange since amiloride an inhibitor of this antiporter inhibited lectin induced DNA synthesis. The calcium and hydrogen ionic changes occur within minutes of lectin application; the protracted requirement for this mitogen suggests further signalling mechanisms occur to elicit maximum DNA synthesis in these cells. Gonadectomy caused an increase in thymic and splenic weight. Spleno-cytes derived from castrated mice showed no change in mitogen response whereas those from ovariectomised mice demonstrated a reduced lectin sensitivity. Testosterone, 5 a dihydrotestosterone, a and 0 oestradiol all inhibited lectin induced DNA synthesis but only at pharmacological concentrations. Testosterone glucuronide and cholesterol were without effect Studies with mouse serum fractions of differing steroidal status were unable to confirm the presence or absence of serum factors which might mediate the effects of steroid on lymphoid cells, all fractions tested inhibited lymphocyte transformation. Both interleukin-2 and lipopolysaccharide induced splenocyte mitogene-sis was also impaired by high steroid concentrations in vitro, suggesting that steroids mediate their effect by a non-specific, non-receptor-mediated event.