In the present investigation, the binding and uptake of 63NiCl2 was studied in human thymocytes and in peripheral blood lymphocytes from nickel-allergic and control subjects. A direct binding of the isotope to the lymphocyte membranes was shown by autoradiography. This binding was not more marked in peripheral blood lymphocytes of nickel-allergic subjects than in those of control subjects or in thymocytes. As judged by liquid scintillation, there was an uptake of isotope both into the nucleus and cytoplasm of the cells, being low compared to the medium activity. The uptake into blood lymphocyte nuclei of nickel-allergic subjects was significantly (p <0.05) higher than into those of the control group. The present findings indicate a direct action of nickel on lymphocytes, which might be of importance for DNA synthesis stimulation.

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