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Scand J Immunol. 2001 Feb;53(2):162-70.

Human autologous monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages in co-culture with carcinoma F-spheroids secrete IL-6 by a non-CD14-dependent pathway.

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Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Haukeland University Hospital, N-5021 Bergen, Norway.


The secretion of interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-6 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha were compared when freshly isolated autologous monocytes or monocytederived macrophages (MDMs) were co-cultured in vitro with autologous fragment (F)-spheroids established from a series of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. F-spheroids were generated from the malignant tumour (M-spheroids) or from benign mucosa (B-spheroids) from which the tumour originated control. If monocytes maturated towards MDMs before co-culture, the IL-6 secretion declined dependent on the extent of the MDM maturation by both M- and B-spheroid stimulation. When MDMs maturated in continuous co-culture, a steady-state secretion of IL-6 continued for several days but diminished when the culture medium was changed every 24 h. No co-culture-induced IL-1 beta or TNF-alpha was determined. Both the cytokine secretion and the mRNA gene expression revealed a different monocyte/MDM activation when co-culture and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulation were compared. Addition of anti-CD14 (10 microg/ml) decreased monocyte LPS-stimulated, but increased monocyte co-culture stimulated IL-6 secretion. In conclusion, M- and B-spheroids similarly stimulated monocytes and to a lesser extent MDMs. MDMs that maturated with F-spheroids present, retained responsiveness at the monocyte level. Co-culture-induced monocyte stimulation, as measured by IL-6 secretion, was not dependent on activation via the CD14 molecule.

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