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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 1991;33(3):177-82.

Induction of tumor necrosis factor expression by a lectin from Viscum album.

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Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Institut für Immunologie und Genetik, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany.


A purified lectin (MLI) from Viscum album was used to test whether peripheral monocytes from human blood can be activated for the production of tumour necrosis factor (TNF). Cytotoxic activity was detected in the supernatant of MLI-stimulated monocyte cultures. This cytotoxic activity was completely inhibited by monoclonal antibodies to TNF alpha. Small amounts of soluble TNF protein were measured in a TNF alpha-specific enzyme-linked immunospecific assay system. Strong expression of TNF alpha mRNA was induced in human monocytes as well as in macrophage cultures from C3H/HeJ mice having a low response to endotoxin after 2 h of stimulation. Both chains of the MLI were found to induce TNF mRNA equally well in human monocytes. In macrophages of endotoxin-low-responder mice the toxic A chain was a better inducer of TNF mRNA than the galactose-specific lectin B chain. Thus, MLI has immunomodulating effects in activating monocytes/macrophages for inflammatory responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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