Regulation of Macrophage Functions by Interferon
Mononuclear phagocytes exert a major regulatory influence on many lymphocyte functions, including antibody production, lymphocyte proliferation, and the production of lymphokines (reviewed in Reference 1). Highly suppressive macrophages can be induced in mice by injection of a variety of agents such as C. parvum, BCG and pyran copolymer. Such in vivo stimulation concomitantly enhances macrophage tumoricidal activity in vitro and this observation led to the belief that a common activation mechanism underlay both functions (2–3). Unstimulated peritoneal macrophages also express suppressor activity (2,4) and low but significant levels of tumoricidal activity (5). This “natural” cytotoxicity can be highly enhanced by in vitro expo-sure to lymphokines, interferons, bacterial endotoxins and other substances (6–8). in vitro modulation of macrophage suppression with the same agents that enhance tumoricidal activity would help verify the hypothesis of a common regulation for the two activities. We now summarize our recent observations on the possibility of distinguishing the mechanism of regulation of macrophage cytotoxicity from that controlling suppression.
KeywordsSuppressor Activity Macrophage Function Tumoricidal Activity Opsonized Zymosan Fibroblast Interferon
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