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J Immunol. 1989 May 1;142(9):3129-33.

IL-1 as adjuvant. Role of T cells in the augmentation of specific antibody production by recombinant human IL-1 alpha.

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Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, WA 98109.


Human rIL-1 alpha significantly enhanced splenic plaque-forming cells (PFC) to SRBC in vitro and in vivo. A single i.p. injection was sufficient to produce a fivefold or greater increase in the generation of PFC in a primary response. IL-1 treatment resulted in an increased production of Ag-specific PFC, both in vitro and in vivo, in combination with suboptimal doses of Ag. When IL-1 was given with a primary dose of Ag in vivo, an enhanced IgG response occurred. IL-1 enhanced in vivo carrier priming for an anti-hapten PFC response, indicating increased Th activity. Furthermore, T cells from spleens of mice treated with IL-1 provided significantly more help in both carrier (SRBC)- and hapten (TNP)- specific PFC. The enhancement of PFC by IL-1 in vitro occurred even in the presence of an excess of neutralizing anti-IL-2 antibody. These results suggest that IL-1 may enhance T cell-dependent antibody production in part by increasing Th activity, and that the mechanism of IL-1 action in increasing antibody production involves pathways in addition to the induction of IL-2 secretion.

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