Effect of Wheat Germ Agglutinin on T Lymphocyte Activation

Kazuyoshi Kawakami, Yusei Yamamoto, Kaoru Onoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is low mitogenic or nonmitogenic for human T lymphocytes and inhibits phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced mitotic response of the lymphocytes. In this study, the effect of WGA was analyzed in terms of interleukin 2 (IL2) production, expression of IL2 receptor, and IL2 responsiveness of the T lymphocytes. WGA as well as PHA could induce IL2 mRNA and IL2 production and also elevate cytoplasmic free Ca2+ concentration. The IL2 production was reduced by inhibitors of calmodulin and protein kinase C. The IL2 receptor (Tac) expression was induced at about 20% of the lymphocytes by WGA and the expression induced by PHA was not blocked by the addition of WGA. The lymphocytes precultured with WGA for 3 days could proliferate by the addition of IL2 after removal of WGA. The IL2-dependent proliferation of PHA-blasts was blocked by the addition of WGA. These results indicate that WGA inhibits T lymphocyte proliferation by inhibiting the responsiveness of the lymphocytes to IL2 but not by interfering with IL2 production and IL2 receptor expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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