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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glycosidase inhibitors (castanospermine and swainsonine) and neuraminidase inhibit pokeweed mitogen-induced B cell maturation.

Castanospermine (CSP), an inhibitor of alpha-glucosidase, enhanced immunoglobulin (Ig) release in a Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I (SAC)-induced lymphocyte culture (Scand. J. Immunol. 1990. 32: 529). In a pokeweed mitogen (PWM)-human lymphocyte culture, unlike the SAC-stimulated system, CSP strongly decreased the number of IgG-, IgA- and IgM-secreting cells as well as that of Ig-bearing cells. Peripheral blood lymphocytes treated with swainsonine, a mannosidase II inhibitor, or with neuraminidase also showed a reduced response to PWM. In cross-culture experiments, only a mixture of B cells pretreated with either agent and untreated T cells showed such a suppressive effect. Adhesion was decreased between B cells treated with either agent and untreated T cells, but not between treated T cells and untreated B cells. These results demonstrate that a certain alteration in B cell membrane oligosaccharides inhibited the T cell-B cell adhesion in the PWM culture, leading to an arrest of B cell maturation. Considering that these inhibitors eventually prevent terminal sialic acid addition, the present study provides evidence that sialic acids on B cell surface oligosaccharides play a biological role in the T cell-B cell interaction.[1]


  1. Glycosidase inhibitors (castanospermine and swainsonine) and neuraminidase inhibit pokeweed mitogen-induced B cell maturation. Karasuno, T., Kanayama, Y., Nishiura, T., Nakao, H., Yonezawa, T., Tarui, S. Eur. J. Immunol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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