Numerous lines of mouse lymphoid tumors (13 of 22 tested) showed, with increased sensitivity, a property of normal mouse splenic lymphocytes, the potential for growth promotion in vitro by specific thiols added to standard culture media. For lymphoma L1210 (V), structure activity relationships were examined; 9 of 30 thiols promoted growth; the most active was α-thioglycerol, effective at 0.2 µM. Thiols became oxidized under conditions of tissue culture and had half-lives of less than 8 h. Disulfides of active thiols promoted growth of lymphoma cells.

The mitogenic response of splenic lymphocytes to lectins was increased by thiols-disulfides which promoted the growth of lymphoma cells, but the response varied with the mitogen preparation used and under some conditions thiols-disulfides were inhibitory.

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