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J Immunol. 1978 Aug;121(2):691-4.

Human lymphocyte responses are enhanced by culture at 40 degrees C.


In vitro responses of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) were found to be markedly enhanced by culture at 40 degrees C rather than at the conventional temperature of 37 degrees C. We studied proliferative responses of lymphocytes by activation by phytohemagglutinin (PHA) concanavalin A (Con A), pokeweed mitogen (PWM), and allogeneic lymphocytes in mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) and found enhancement of DNA synthesis at the higher temperature. Cytotoxic T cell responses to allogeneic cells were also enhanced when MLC was done at 40 degrees C. These enhanced immune responses appear to be due in part to increased numbers of participating cells. If in vitro lymphocyte responses correlate with in vivo responses, then fever associated with infection or tumor may be beneficial whereas that associated with autoimmune disorders may have a detrimental effect.

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