• Lymphocyte;
  • Granulocyte;
  • Hormones;
  • T3;
  • Serotonin;
  • Histamine;
  • Endorphin


Immune cells contain different hormones and hormone-like molecules, such as insulin, endorphin, triiodothyronine (T3) histamine, serotonin. In earlier in vitro experiments insulin down-regulated histamine, serotonin and T3 content of thymus cells. Now we studied the effect of biogenic amines on the endorphin, T3, serotonin and histamine content of rat peritoneal and thymic cells. Cells were obtained from male rats of 100 g body weight. 100 ng/ml serotonin or 300 ng/ml histamine was added for 30 min. After that the cells were prepared for flow cytometric analysis with antibodies to endorphin, T3, histamine and serotonin as primary antibodies and anti-rabbit IgG as secondary antibody. Finishing the measurements the cells were also studied by confocal microscopy. T3 concentration (binding of anti-T3 antibody) increased in peritoneal mast cells after serotonin treatment and in the monocyte-macrophage-granulocyte group after histamine treatment. Thymocytes' T3 content radically decreased after both treatments. Serotonin and histamine treatment also radically reduced the amine content of each other. Endorphin level was resistant to hormonal treatments. The results call attention to a possible hormonal network inside the immune system in which hormones produced by the immune cells themselves can influence each other.