Regulation of lymphokine-activated killer cell induction by human recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist: Obligate paracrine pathway of IL-1 during lymphokine-activated killer cell induction

T. Fujiwara, E. A. Grimm

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IL-2-stimulated human lymphocytes, referred to as lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, can develop a broad range of lytic activity against fresh tumor cells and cultured tumor cell lines. IL-1, a pleiotropic cytokine shown to synergize with IL-2 on LAK induction, is endogenously synthesized and secreted by LAK cells. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that IL-2-stimulated PBL produced the 31- to 34-kDa pro-molecules of IL-1 within 24 h and maintained their expression for at least 96 h. The role of secreted IL-1 has been examined using rIL-1R antagonist (IL-1ra). The addition of IL-1ra to LAK activation culture resulted in dose-dependent inhibited lytic activity, which was more apparent in LAK cells cultured with higher doses of IL-2. However, IL-1ra had no effect on proliferative responses elicited in LAK cells by IL- 2. Moreover, when IL-1 binding was blocked by IL-1ra, the expression of the IL-2R p55 subunit was reduced compared with control LAK cells. The effect of IL-1-binding blockade on expression of other cytokine mRNA was further examined by polymerase chain reaction analysis, and, specifically, inhibition of both TNF-α and TNF-β mRNA expression by IL-1ra was observed in PBL stimulated with IL-2. The reduced biologic activity of TNF in culture supernatants correlated well with the inhibition of mRNA expression. These findings suggest that autocrine/paracrine IL-1 is involved in the initial generation of LAK activity and, in particular, that TNF expression could be induced via an IL-1 autocrine pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2941-2946
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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