Activation of Human Monocytes by Interleukin-2 and Various Cytokines

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Summary:We previously reported that human macrophages cultured with IL-2 for a long period (lymphokine-activated macrophages, LAMs) showed high tumoricidal activity against human and murine leukemic cell lines through a different mechanism from lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells. In this report, we investigated the effects of various cytokines on the tumoricidal activity of IL-2-induced LAMs against HeLa cells. CSF-1 and IL-1 were found to enhance the tumoricidal activity of LAM in a dose-dependent manner, whereas IFN--γ and TNF had inhibitory effects. CSF-1 in combination with a low dose of IL-2 synergistically induced LAMs with highly tumoricidal activity. We also found that monocytes from some donors that did not respond to IL-2 were differentiated to tumoricidal macrophages by treatment with a combination of CSF-1 and IL-2. Furthermore, IL-2-induced LAMs were found to produce cytotoxic factors in the culture medium when they were cocultured with tumor cells, and the cytotoxic activity in the culture supernatant of LAMs was also increased by the incubation of LAMs with CSF-1. The cytotoxicity of the supernatants from macrophages with different tumoricidal activity correlated with their cell-mediated cytotoxicity. It is suggested from these results that the cytotoxicity of LAMs is regulated by CSF-1, IL-1, IFN--γ, and TNF, and that the production of cytotoxic molecules is involved in cell-mediated killing by LAMs.

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