Effects of 5-FU on DNA synthesis and cytotoxicity of human lymphocytes induced by IL-2, TGF-β3 and PGE2

Avi Eisenthal*, Karin Eytan, Eli Brazowski, Gilad Gitstein, Ron Greenberg, Yehuda Skornick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Low 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) concentrations cause a significant increase in DNA synthesis in mitogen-activated human lymphocytes. Materials and Methods: We explored 2.5 μM 5-FU-induced DNA synthesis by testing 5-FU activity in hypoxanthine-aminopterin-thymidine (HAT)-containing medium, and its effect on thymidylate synthase (TS) activity and CD25 expression in interleukin (IL)-2-activated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and the combined effects with prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β3. Results: The co-stimulatory effect of 2.5 μM 5-FU on DNA synthesis was abrogated in HAT-cultured medium. 5-FU substantially reduced TS activity by 50% in IL-2-activated PBMCs. 5-FU combined with TGF-β3 and PGE2 did not alter their inhibitory effects on IL-2-activated natural killer cell cytotoxicity, but substantially affected increased DNA synthesis of cells cultured in IL-2 and co-cultured with 10 ng/ml TGF-β3 and 10 μM PGE2. Conclusion: Low 5-FU concentrations increase DNA synthesis in lymphocytes and exert a co-stimulatory activity on TGF-β3 and PGE2 modulation of IL-2-activated lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3925-3930
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Acivated lymphocytes
  • PGE
  • Prostaglandin E
  • TGF-β
  • Transforming growth factor-beta


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