Lymphotoxic activity of methyl prednisolone in vitro--I. Comparative toxicity of methyl prednisolone in human cell lines of B and T origin

Biochem Pharmacol. 1987 Mar 15;36(6):831-7. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(87)90171-7.


The cytotoxic activity of methyl prednisolone was compared in EB-3(B), NALM-6(B), CCRF-CEM(T) and RPMI-8226 (plasma cell) cell lines derived from human lymphoid malignancies. Whereas EB-3 cells were steroid-sensitive, NALM-6 cells were partially sensitive and CCRF-CEM and RPMI-8226 were steroid resistant at concentrations of methyl prednisolone up to 10(-4) M. A high concentration of methyl prednisolone, 2.5 X 10(-3) M was toxic to all cell lines. Steroid-sensitivity did not correlate with the incorporation of [3H] dexamethasone and could not be mimicked by flurbiprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Both theophylline and di-butyryl cAMP were toxic towards NALM-6, EB-3 and CCRF-CEM cells; however, this toxicity was reversible and did not reflect the cells' sensitivities towards methyl prednisolone. Furthermore, elevated levels of cAMP in theophylline-treated cells, were not demonstrable in cells treated with methyl prednisolone at toxic or non-toxic concentrations of the steroid. Steroid-sensitive EB-3 cells exposed to 10(-5) M methyl prednisolone, produced a soluble factor which was toxic CCRF-CEM cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Dexamethasone / metabolism
  • Flurbiprofen / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Methylprednisolone / pharmacology*
  • Plasma Cells / drug effects
  • Plasma Cells / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Theophylline / pharmacology


  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Bucladesine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Theophylline
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Methylprednisolone