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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1977 Oct;74(10):4624-7.

Human leukocytic pyrogen: purification and development of a radioimmunoassay.


Leukocytic pyrogen is a small endogenous protein that mediates fever. Because of the limitations of bioassays, circulating leukocytic pyrogen has not been demonstrated during fever in humans. The pyrogen was produced in vitro after phagocytosis of staphylococci by blood monocytes. Antibody against the pyrogen was obtained from rabbits immunized with leukocytic pyrogen and the antiserum was purified by solid-phase immunoadsorbants. Purified antibody to the pyrogen was attached to activated Sepharose 4B and used in conjunction with gel filtration to purify the pyrogen. The pyrogen was labeled with 125I and further purified by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography. The final preparation of 125I-labeled pyrogen demonstrated a homogeneous band during isoelectric focusing and other separation procedures. With antibody to pyrogen attached to Sepharose, less than 0.1 of a rabbit pyrogenic dose of human leukocytic pyrogen inhibited the binding of 125I-labeled pyrogen to this immunoadsorbant, and this inhibition was not affected by the presence of human serum. Thus, a radioimmunoassay for human leukocytic pyrogen has been developed that may be used to detect circulating pyrogen during fever in humans.

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