Blood transfusions have been repeatedly shown to be immunosuppressive in nature. The intracellular mechanisms of this immunosuppression have not been extensively investigated. We investigated the effect of blood transfusions on lymphocyte intracellular metabolism of glucose and amino acids, as well as levels of adenosine deaminase activity and nucleotide triphosphate concentrations. Blood transfusions were found to increase the rate of glucose and glutamine metabolism, to increase nucleotide triphosphate concentrations, and to increase the level of adenosine deaminase activity. This increased level of lymphocyte metabolism in the face of immunosuppression would appear to indicate that the transfusion-induced immunosuppression is an active dynamic process.
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