Faculty Research 1980 - 1989

Multidrug-resistance phenotype of a subpopulation of T-lymphocytes without drug selection.

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B-Lymphocytes, Blotting-Northern", Cell-Line, Cell-Survival, Clone-Cells, DNA, Drug-Resistance, Human, Killer-Cells, Lymph-Nodes, Lymphoma, Mice, Phenotype, RNA, Reserpine, T-Lymphocytes, Vincristine

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Exp Cell Res 1989 Dec; 185(2):496-505.


Multidrug-resistant (MDR) cells demonstrate the increased activity of the membrane transport system performing efflux of diverse lipophylic drugs and fluorescent dyes from the cells. In order to detect MDR cells we have developed a simple test consisting of three steps: staining of the cells with fluorescent dye rhodamine 123, incubation in the dye-free medium and, finally, detection by fluorescence microscopy of the cells that have lost accumulated dye. The experiments with B-lymphoma cell lines with different degrees of MDR have shown that the cell fluorescence after the poststaining incubation is indeed inversely proportional to the degree of resistance. Application of this testing procedure to normal human or mouse leukocytes revealed the presence of the cells rapidly losing the dye in these populations. Cell fractionation experiments have shown that there are T-lymphocytes (most T-killers/suppressors and a part of T-helpers) that demonstrate rapid efflux of rhodamine 123. This characteristic was detected also in T-killer clones and cell line and in some T-lymphomas. The inhibitors of the MDR transport system, reserpine and verapamil, blocked the efflux of the dye from these cells. Rhodamine-losing T-lymphoma contained large amounts of the mRNA coding P-glycoprotein, the" MDR efflux pump, and demonstrated increased resistance to rhodamine 123," gramicidin D, colchicine, and vincristine, the drugs belonging to the" cross-resistance group for the MDR cells. The role of the increased activity of the MDR membrane transport system in T-lymphocytes is discussed.

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