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Blood. 1991 Sep 1;78(5):1275-81.

Production of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and interleukin-1 beta by peripheral blood mononuclear cells is differentially regulated.

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Department of Medicine, New England Medical Center Hospitals, Boston, MA.


We studied the relationship between the production of the 23-Kd interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) and IL-1 beta in cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) using a specific radioimmunoassay for IL-1ra that had a sensitivity of 166 +/- 11 pg/mL. PBMC cultured without human serum made little IL-1ra or IL-1 beta. In the presence of 1% AB serum, there was no increase in IL-1 beta (0.25 +/- 0.13 ng/mL) but IL-1ra production increased sevenfold to 3.4 +/- 0.5 ng/mL. IgG (2.5 to 100 micrograms/mL IgG) or granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (1 to 100 ng/mL) had no significant effect on IL-1 beta production but increased IL-1ra production up to 18-fold (18.2 +/- 3.9 ng/mL). Using endotoxin as a stimulant, 82% +/- 2% of IL-1ra was secreted in comparison with 52% +/- 9% of IL-1 beta. Culture conditions of PBMC influenced the production of IL-1ra but not IL-1 beta. Rocking endotoxin-stimulated PBMC produced 75% less IL-1ra but the same amount of IL-1 beta when compared with PBMC cultured in stationary plastic tubes. Rocking IgG-or GM-CSF-stimulated PBMC also produced 75% to 80% less IL-1ra. GM-CSF or IL-1 beta at concentrations that elicited submaximal production of IL-1ra potentiated IgG-induced IL-1ra production. The production of IL-1ra and IL-1 beta are under differential regulation because serum, IgG, and GM-CSF were potent stimuli for the production of IL-1ra but not IL-1 beta, and the prevention of cell-cell contact of PBMC reduced IL-1ra but not IL-1 beta production.

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