Immunosuppression by l-asparaginase and related enzymes: A review

Evan M. Hersh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The antitumor enzyme L-asparaginase exerts an antiproliferative action against asparagine synthetase-deficient tissues by depleting circulating L-asparagine. L-Asparag- inase and L-glutaminase completely suppress in vitro lymphocyte blastogenesis at doses of 0.1-1.0 international units (IU)/ml. L-Asparaginase suppresses both humoral and cellular primary immune responses including organ allograft rejection in vivo. Since this enzyme is immunosuppressive and not myelosuppressive, its use in man should be considered in the preventive therapy of organ allograft rejection. Also, the finding that specific amino acid depletion is immunosuppressive should encourage investigation of the amino acid requirements of lymphoid tissue and other approaches to amino acid depletion or antagonism in chemical immunosuppression

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1971
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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