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Microbiol Immunol. 1992;36(5):507-16.

Induction of cytokines in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells by mycoplasmas.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract

Various species of mycoplasmas were tested for their ability to induce cytokine production in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Human PBMC were incubated with Mycoplasma pneumoniae, M. hyorhinis, M. arginini, M. salivarium, M. orale, M. gallisepticum or A. laidlawii for 48 hr, and the activities of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon (IFN) in the supernatants were determined by ELISA or bioassay. All mycoplasma species induced IL-1 beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, although IL-2 was induced only by M. pneumoniae. IFN was induced by 5 of the 7 species, and the IFN produced was antigenically confirmed to be mainly IFN-alpha. On the other hand, mycoplasma-stimulated cultures did not contain detectable amounts of IFN-beta and IL-4 activities. Furthermore, the cytokines were induced by mycoplasmal contaminating cells in human PBMC as well as by mycoplasma alone. These results suggest that many kinds of cytokines induced by mycoplasma contamination in cell culture affect immunological experiments in vitro.

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