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J Immunol Methods. 2008 Jul 20;336(1):45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2008.03.010. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

Cytokine induction by pyrogens: comparison of whole blood, mononuclear cells, and TLR-transfectants.

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Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Given the shortcomings in the measurement of pyrogenic contamination of pharmaceuticals and/or test substances by means of the rabbit pyrogen test and the Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) test, several in vitro pyrogen tests have been developed based on the measurement of cytokine production by monocytes. In this study we measured cytokine production (IL-6, IL-8, IL-1beta, and TNF) in diluted whole blood (WB), mononuclear cells (MNC), and HEK cells stably transfected with CD14 and Toll-like Receptor-2 (TLR2) or TLR4, after stimulation with both standard pyrogens and contaminated substances. Our study demonstrated that in MNC, IL-6 production was more sensitive to pyrogen stimulation than IL-1beta and TNF production. The sensitivity of WB IL-8 production for pyrogens was comparable with that of MNC IL-6 production, but higher than WB IL-6 production. MNC IL-8 production as readout for pyrogenic stimulation was not useful due to high background IL-8 production. Surprisingly, contaminated culture media potently stimulated WB IL-8 production, but not MNC IL-6 production. Finally, the value of TLR-transfected HEK cells in the detection of pyrogenic contamination as well as the role of IL-10 in interindividual differences in cytokine production, is discussed. To summarize, the results presented herein together with literature data indicate that the measurement of WB IL-8 production may represent an advantageous alternative to the measurement of MNC IL-6 production, for the detection of pyrogenic contamination of pharmaceuticals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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