Cimetidine modulates natural killer cell function of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

John I. Allen, Heidi J. Syropoulos, Barbara Grant, J. Christopher Eagon, Neil E. Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Peripheral blood natural killer (NK) activity in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) is frequently low or absent. Because cimetidine (a histamine-2 antagonist) has been shown to alter human lymphocyte function in vitro, we decided to study cimetidine's effect on peripheral blood NK activity of patients with B-CLL and controls. We administered cimetidine orally (1.2 gm per day) to seven patients with B-CLL and 12 controls for up to 28 days. Peripheral blood NK activity of patients with B-CLL rose from a pretreatment level of 0.7 ± 0.5 (mean ± SEM) lytic units/106 cells (LU) to 8.7 ± 2.4 LU (P < 0.05) at day 28. Peripheral blood NK activity of controls decreased after 14 days of cimetidine treatment but returned to pretreatment levels by day 28. When peripheral blood cells from controls were exposed to cimetidine during in vitro incubation (10 μg/ml), mean NK activity was increased at 48 hours (54% ± 22% increase over controls, n = 5, P < 0.05). Single cell cytotoxicity assays revealed increased killing of target cells (but not effector-target conjugation) with cimetidine-exposed effector cells. These data suggest that cimetidine may be useful to augment peripheral blood NK activity for patients with B-CLL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-395
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Volume109
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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