The effects of copper deficiency on human lymphoid and myeloid cells: An in vitro model

KK Tong, BM Hannigan, George McKerr, JJ Strain

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Cu has long been known to influence immune responses, An in vitro model system was established in which human myeloid (HL-60), B-Lymphoid (Raji) and T-lymphoid (Molt-3) cell Lines could be grown in culture media of varying Cu levels, initially Cu was removed from the medium by dialysis of fetal calf serum against a metal-ion chelator, minor depletion of other trace metals being obviated by repletion with appropriate metal salts, The growth rate of HL-60 was significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited by 72 h Cu depletion, Molt-3 cells required a longer period, up to 144 h, in Cu-depleted medium before growth was impaired, Raji-cell growth was not affected, These results confirmed clinical observations that T-cell functions were more sensitive to Cu deprivation than B cells, Analysis of intracellular metal levels in Molt-3 cells showed that Cu levels had been significantly lowered (P < 0.05) although Ca2+ levels were raised, Intracellular activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (EC was significantly impaired (P < 0.05) in Molt-3 cells grown in Cu-depleted medium, Activity of the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome c oxidase (EC also significantly impaired (P < 0.05) by Cu depletion, Each of these findings indicates an increase in the potential for cellular damage by reduced antioxidant activity, impairment of normal mitochondrial activity and excessive Ca2+ influx, A major consequence of the type of damage occurring under these circumstances is membrane disruption, This was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy of Molt-3 cells groan under varying Cu levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-108
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jan 1996


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