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Cytometry. 2001 Feb 15;46(1):33-40.

Flow cytometric analysis of cytokine production by normal human peripheral blood dendritic cells and monocytes: comparative analysis of different stimuli, secretion-blocking agents and incubation periods.

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Servicio General de Citometría, Departamento de Medicina, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.


In this paper, we comparatively analyze the effects of the following different stimuli on the production and intracellular accumulation of the interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-6, IL-12, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and IL-8 inflammatory cytokines in both normal human peripheral blood (PB) dendritic cell (DC) subsets and monocytes: lipopolysaccharide (LPS) versus Staphylococcus aureus cowan I (SAC) in the presence or absence of interferon-(IFN)-gamma-, cytokine secretion-blocking agents (brefeldin A alone versus brefeldin A plus monensin), and incubation periods (6, 12, and 24 h). For this purpose, a four-color multiple-staining direct immunofluorescence technique analyzed by flow cytometry was systematically used in all experiments (n = 19). Our results show that after stimulation, an important proportion of each of the two CD33(+) myeloid DC subsets as well as the monocytes produce significant amounts of all cytokines analyzed under each of the experimental conditions assayed. In contrast, CD33(-/+lo) lymphoplasmocytoid DC failed to produce detectable levels of any of the above-mentioned cytokines under the same stimulatory conditions. Upon comparing the different stimuli used, LPS was associated with higher percentages of cytokine-producing cells compared with SAC, especially within the CD33(hi) DC subset; interestingly, the addition of IFN-gamma enhanced the response of monocytes to both LPS and SAC. As regards the secretion-blocking agents, brefeldin A alone was superior to the combination of brefeldin A and monensin. This is because it was frequently associated with both a higher percentage of cytokine-positive cells and greater amounts of detectable cytokines per cell. Sequential analysis of cytokine production by PB DC and monocytes after 6, 12, and 24 h of cell culture showed that after 6 h, an increased cell death rate existed among DC, which became even undetectable at 24 h, in the absence of a significant increase in cytokine secretion. In summary, our results show that from the experimental conditions assayed in this paper, to induce cytokine production by normal human DC and monocytes, maximum response is obtained once PB samples are stimulated for 6 h with LPS (with or without IFN-gamma) in the presence of brefeldin A alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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