Mevalonic acid is capable of initiating DNA synthesis, morphologic transformation, and cell division in cultures of human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Pure populations of lymphocytes respond poorly to mevalonic acid, but their response can be enhanced by peripheral blood neutrophils. Addition of cytochalasin B (0.5 - 1.0 μg/ml), but not cytochalasin A, to mixed neutrophil-lymphocyte cultures enhances the response of lymphocytes to both Con A and mevalonate, but the increment in mevalonate-induced DNA synthesis (+343%) far exceeds the enhancement which cytochalasin B produces in the Con A response (+24%). As a consequence, the DNA synthetic response in mevalonate (10-2 M) containing cultures averages 39% of the response to an optimal dose of Con A. The cytochalasin B-enhanced response of mixed neutrophil-lymphocyte cultures to mevalonate is abolished by prior X irradiation of the lymphocytes, or their pretreatment with mitomycin C, as well as by the addition of hydroxyurea to the cultures but is not altered by prior X irradiation or mitomycin C pretreatment of the neutrophil helper population. These experiments suggest that the enhancing effect of cytochalasin B in the response of mixed neutrophil-lymphocyte cultures to mevalonic acid results from its ability to potentiate a time-dependent conditioning effect on lymphocytes which neutrophils exert. The conditioning effect of neutrophils cannot be achieved by cell-free neutrophil lysosomal enzymes released by exocytosis, and reactive oxygen species potentially generated by neutrophils are not involved. Attempts to demonstrate the production by neutrophils of a soluble mediator induced by mevalonate in the presence of cytochalasin B were without success. In the presence of cytochalasin B, only the metabolically active R(-) enantiomeric form of mevalonate is capable of initiating DNA synthesis in mixed neutrophil-lymphocyte cultures. The cytochalasin B-potentiated response of mixed neutrophil-lymphocyte cultures to mevalonic acid is preferentially displayed in cultures containing E-rosette-negative, as opposed to E-rosette-positive, lymphocytes. These observations add to the growing knowledge about the relationship between mevalonate metabolism, DNA synthesis, and cell replication.
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