Faculty Publications

Title

The effects of telomerase inhibitors on lymphocyte function

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Immunosuppression, Oligonucleotides, Reverse transcriptase inhibitors, Telomerase

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Anticancer Research

Volume

19

Issue

4 B

First Page

3205

Last Page

3211

Abstract

Background: Telomerase is an enzyme that is present in both cancerous cells and lymphocytes. Telomerase inhibitors block tumor cell growth and are being considered for chemotherapy. This study tested whether telomerase inhibitors suppress growth of leukemic cell lines and blood lymphocytes (PBMC). Results: Reverse transcriptase inhibitors azidothymidine (AZT) and 3'-deoxy-2:3'-didehydrothymidine (d4T) decreased growth of all cells while dideoxyinosine (ddI) had no effect on Jurkat cells but increased growth of PBMC. The oligonucleotide (TTAGGG)3, which mimics the telomeric sequence, decreased growth of all cells. Inhibition by AZT, d4T and (TTAGGG)3 was manifested at 48-96 hours after addition to the cultures but not at 24 hours. The inhibition was partially to totally reversible upon inhibitor removal, indicating that the compounds were not cytotoxic but only suppressed cell growth temporarily. Conclusions: Immunosuppression may result from the use of telomerase inhibitors during chemotherapy but should only be temporary.

Original Publication Date

12-1-1999

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