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

Decrease in helper (T4+) lymphocytes following cimetidine treatment for duodenal ulcer.

We studied the possible in vivo influence of cimetidine on peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) subpopulations defined with monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) in eight haematologically normal patients with uncomplicated duodenal ulcers before cimetidine treatment, 1 week after the start, and finally 1 week following cessation of therapy. After cimetidine had been given for 3-5 weeks there was a significant decrease, compared with pretreatment numbers, in the proportion of T3+ cells (64.6 +/- 8.1 (mean +/- s.d.) v 51.0 +/- 7.8%) and in T4+ cells (47.3 +/- 4.3 v 30.8 +/- 4.7%). The number of T8+ cells was not affected (20.3 +/- 4.3 v 20.1 +/- 6.7%). These changes resulted in a significant reduction in the T4/T8 ratio (2.46 +/- 0.8 v 1.67 +/- 0.6). The total numbers of lymphocytes and monocytes as well as the percentage of B1+ lymphocytes did not change significantly. The observed decrease in T4/T8 ratio after cimetidine treatment is explained by a reduction in the number of T4+ cells and the appearance of a new subpopulation of T3-, T4-, T8-, B1-lymphocytes. The underlying mechanism, however, is not clear. Cimetidine does not seem to have a direct receptor-modulating effect, since in vitro exposure of normal lymphocytes to the drug did not change the proportions of the T cell subsets.[1]


  1. Decrease in helper (T4+) lymphocytes following cimetidine treatment for duodenal ulcer. Hast, R., Bernell, P., Befrits, R., Dowding, C., Sjögren, A.M. Clin. Exp. Immunol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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