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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2008, Article ID 298010, 11 pages
Research Article

Suppressive Effect of Hydroquinone, a Benzene Metabolite, on In Vitro Inflammatory Responses Mediated by Macrophages, Monocytes, and Lymphocytes

School of Bioscience and Biotechnology and the Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, South Korea

Received 29 July 2008; Revised 22 October 2008; Accepted 10 November 2008

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2008 Jae Youl Cho. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the inhibitory effects of hydroquinone on cytokine release, phagocytosis, NO production, ROS generation, cell-cell/cell fibronectin adhesion, and lymphocyte proliferation. We found that hydroquinone suppressed the production of proinflammatory cytokines [tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- 𝛼 , interleukin (IL)-1 𝛽 , and IL-6], secretion of toxic molecules [nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS)], phagocytic uptake of FITC-labeled dextran, upregulation of costimulatory molecules, U937 cell-cell adhesion induced by CD18 and CD29, and the proliferation of lymphocytes from the bone marrow and spleen. Considering that (1) environmental chemical stressors reduce the immune response of chronic cigarette smokers and children against bacterial and viral infections and that (2) workers in petroleum factories are at higher risk for cancer, our data suggest that hydroquinone might pathologically inhibit inflammatory responses mediated by monocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes.