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Cell Immunol. 1991 Oct 1;137(1):164-74.

Cytolytic activities of activated macrophages versus paraformaldehyde-fixed macrophages; soluble versus membrane-associated TNF.

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Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38101-0318.


Membrane-associated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and soluble TNF were compared as to their lytic activities, and as to the kinetics of their expression by macrophages activated with LPS and/or IFN-gamma in the presence or absence of cycloheximide. EL 4 tumor cells, resistant and sensitive to lysis by recombinant TNF or membrane-associated TNF (paraformaldehyde (PF)-fixed activated macrophages) were used as targets. In the presence of cycloheximide the TNF-resistant S-EL4 cells were lysed by both TNFs. PF-fixed macrophages was cytolytic after 1 hr activation but not after 3 or more hours of activation. Their activity was totally inhibited by anti-TNF antibodies and was a composite of transmembrane (integral) TNF and soluble TNF conjugated to macrophage membrane TNF receptors. Treatment of the macrophages with glycine pH 3.0 buffer dissociated the conjugated TNF without affecting the integral membrane TNF. When macrophages were activated with LPS +/- IFN-gamma in the presence of cycloheximide or activated just with IFN-gamma their activity after fixation with paraformaldehyde was no longer detected. Nonfixed macrophages under these conditions still remained cytotoxic. Tumor cell susceptibility to membrane-associated TNF activity, in contrast to recombinant (soluble) TNF, was greatly reduced in the presence of nicotinamide, an inhibitor of ADP-ribosyltransferase, suggesting that the mechanisms of lysis by these TNFs may be different. The lytic activity of both TNFs was found to be receptor-dependent in that tumor cells, whose TNF binding sites were "down-regulated" by TPA, were rendered resistant to lysis by both membrane-associated and soluble TNFs.

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