Selective induction of mononuclear phagocytes to produce neopterin by interferons

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology

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Adult; Biopterin; Complement C3; Humans; Interferon Type I; Interferon-gamma; Interferons; Lipopolysaccharides; Macrophages; Monocytes; Neopterin; Phagocytes; Zymosan


Gastroenterology | Immunology and Infectious Disease


Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) has been shown to be a potent inducer of neopterin secretion by human peripheral blood monocytes/macrophages (1). In this paper, it is shown that other known stimuli of monocytes (e.g., to secrete proteases or to migrate) such as zymosan-activated human serum, lipopolysaccharide, human C3/iC3 and zymosan coated with complement were unable to trigger monocytes/macrophages to release neopterin. Monocytes/macrophages could be stimulated solely by IFN-gamma (25 U/ml) and IFN-alpha at very high concentrations (10,000 U/ml). In the case of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC), basically the same pattern was observed. If however, in the buffer controls PBMNC showed some neopterin release, all stimuli triggered an increase of neopterin secretion: 10,000 U/ml IFN-alpha induced the same amount of secreted neopterin as did 25 U/ml of IFN-gamma. Both caused higher levels of neopterin secretion than ZAS, LPS and C3/iC3. Amongst the supernatants from PBMNC, only those which were obtained from cells activated with IFN-gamma or -alpha stimulated monocytes/macrophages to produce neopterin. Supernatants from lymphocytes activated with zymosan, lipopolysaccharide and interferon did not contain neopterin, nor did the latter induce monocytes/macrophages to generate and secrete neopterin. Antibodies against IFN-gamma inhibited the triggering effect of the supernatants except when generated by IFN-alpha at 10,000 U/ml. These results demonstrate that both interferons, IFN-gamma and IFN-alpha, the latter only at a 400-fold higher concentration, can trigger monocytes/macrophages directly to secrete neopterin. ZAS, LPS and C3/iC3 are weakly effective only on a mixture of lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages, provided this cell mixture shows already a basic spontaneous neopterin release.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Immunobiology. 1988 Feb;176(3):228-35.

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