Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 1993 Aug;123(2):292-300.

Production of tumor necrosis factor by human cells in vitro and in vivo, induced by group B streptococci.

Author information

Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) has been implicated as one of the major mediators of the gram-negative septic shock syndrome. In our studies, group B streptococci (GBS) induced the production of TNF alpha by human mononuclear cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Human mixed mononuclear cell cultures exposed to an encapsulated (657.6 +/- 71.3 pg/ml; n = 30 preparations) or an unencapsulated transposon mutant of type III GBS (755.8 +/- 54.7 pg/ml; n = 9) produced similar amounts of TNF alpha. Isolated monocytes and culture-derived macrophages produced higher amounts of TNF alpha (1565 +/- 211 and 1790 +/- 928 pg/ml respectively) in response to GBS than did mixed mononuclear cell cultures. In response to GBS, mixed mononuclear cells from neonates produced significantly more TNF alpha (729.1 +/- 45 vs 520.3 +/- 47.2 pg/ml; p = 0.004) than did cells from adults. Examination of specimens from patients with neonatal GBS disease revealed detectable levels of TNF alpha (7 to 424 pg/ml) in the serum of 5 of 10 patients with sepsis, in 5 of 5 urine samples from infants with sepsis, and in the cerebrospinal fluid of 1 patient with meningitis. These results suggest both a major role for TNF alpha in the pathogenesis of human neonatal GBS sepsis and shock and a potential role for immunotherapy directed against this cytokine in this fulminant neonatal bacterial infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center