Immunosuppressive effects of miscellaneous agents

  • G. L. Floersheim
Part of the Biological Council Co-ordinating Committee for Symposia on Drug Action book series (BCSDA)


It was tempting to call this survey ‘immunosuppression by non-immunosuppressive agents’. The term immunosuppressive agent or immunosuppressant applies to a group of compounds with cytotoxic and antiproliferative properties belonging to such classes as alkylating agents, antimetabolites and antimitotics. These drugs display a general antiproliferative activity and most are used in cancer chemotherapy. They affect immune responsiveness by suppressing lymphoid tissue and its antigen-triggered proliferation. As cytotoxic drugs in cancer and as immunosuppressants in organ transplantation, autoimmune and allergic diseases, these agents have been dealt with extensively. This is also true for steroids and antilymphocyte serum, immunosuppressants that do not belong to the class of antiproliferative agents and which I shall omit from the following considerations. Traditional immunosuppressive agents such as cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, 6-mercaptopurine or azathioprine have other activities as well as immunosuppression—for example anti-inflammatory properties (Billingham et al., 1967; Turk et al., 1968; Stevens and Willoughby, 1969; Arinoviche and Loewi, 1970; Fitzgerald et al., 1971; Steinberg et al., 1972)—other compounds exert immunosuppressive side-effects.


Free Fatty Acid Suppressor Cell Immunosuppressive Effect Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis Pertussis Vaccine 
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Copyright information

© Institute of Biology Endowment Trust Fund 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. Floersheim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversitätsspital, GloriastrasseZurichSwitzerland

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