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Am J Pathol. 1976 Nov;85(2):465-78.

Regulation of immunity and inflammation by mediators from macrophages.


Mononuclear phagocytes secrete a number of materials into the extracellular environment. The materials secreted by phagocytes can be grouped into three categories: a) enzymes affecting extracellular proteins (collagenase, elastase, lysosomal proteases, plasminogen activators), b) materials involved in defense processes (complement proteins, interferons, lysozyme), and c) factors regulating activities of surrounding cells. The latter include lymphostimulatory molecules, a colony-stimulating factor, and inhibitors of cell growth. The conditions for secretion of the materials depend on the activity of the phagocytes. The lymphostimulatory molecules secreted by macrophages exert various effects: 1) an increase in DNA synthesis of lymphocytes, 2) a maturation of early thymocytes to mature T cells, and 3) the differentiation of some B cells to antibody-secreting cells. The mitogenic principle has been partially isolated as a protein of 15,000 to 20,000 daltons. The secretion of lymphostimulatory molecules is increased following uptake of various materials by macrophages or by addition of activated T cells to macrophage cultures.

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