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The monocytic tumour, THP-1, expresses many of the properties of monocytes, both by cell surface staining and its capacity to produce monokines. It was used as a source of homogenous monocytic cells as a model to determine whether a variety of highly purified or recombinant cytokines could induce HLA-DR expression and the production of interleukin-1 (IL-1). Interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) alone induced HLA-DR. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF), lymphotoxin (LT) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) alone were able to induce IL-1 but not HLA-DR. When IFN-gamma was combined with TNF, induction of HLA-DR and IL-1 was enhanced in a synergistic manner. These effects were detectable at a pretranslational level as synergistic effects were observed on DR alpha mRNA and IL-1 beta mRNA levels. The results demonstrate the specificity of IFN-gamma as the inductive stimulus for HLA-DR expression by THP-1 cells. As IFN-gamma and TNF are products of activated T cells, the synergistic role for these molecules in macrophage activation is discussed.


Journal article



Publication Date





170 - 175


Charing Cross Sunley Research Centre, Hammersmith, London.


Tumor Cells, Cultured, Humans, Leukemia, Monocytic, Acute, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Biological Factors, Interleukin-1, HLA-DR Antigens, Cytokines, Lymphotoxin-alpha, Interferon-gamma