Rat Nb 2 lymphoma cells have been widely used to bioassay human growth hormone and many species of prolactin. Because their morphologic characterization suggests a T-cell lineage, Nb 2 cells were examined for their response to the T-cell mitogens concanavalin A, pokeweed mitogen, and phytohemagglutinin P. As expected, a dose-response to rat prolactin was observed; however, attempts to induce proliferation using the conventional T- cell mitogens failed at concentrations normally stimulatory for rat primary lymphocytes. Moreover, when Nb 2 cells were simultaneously incubated with lectin plus a suboptimal concentration of prolactin, a dose-dependent suppression of the stimulatory effects of prolactin was observed with phytohemagglutinin P and pokeweed mitogen, although not with concanavalin A. Culture medium of prolactin-stimulated Nb 2 cells also contained a factor which inhibited normal rat lymphocyte activation by concanavalin A. The factor did not block induction of the IL-2 receptor and proliferation of IL- 2-dependent CTLL-2 cells could be restored by exogenous IL-2. Because Nb 2 cells evolved from a lactogen-dependent lymph node tumor, these results may have implications for further understanding the role of pituitary hormones, particularly prolactin, in the immune response to hormone-dependent tumor progression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology