Biology and Molecular Biology
  • Steven B. Mizel
Part of the New Horizons in Therapeutics book series (NHTH)


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) was originally described as a macrophage-derived low molecular weight (13–17 kd) polypeptide that acts as a comitogen with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or concanavilin A (Con A) in cultures of murine thymocytes (Gery et al., 1972). Subsequent studies revealed that IL-1 was stimulatory for a broad range of T-cell-dependent in vitro immune responses including antibody synthesis (Koopman et al.,1978; Staruch and Wood, 1983), cytotoxic T cell activation (Farrar et al.,1980), and mitogen- and antigen-induced T cell proliferation (Gery et al.,1972; Mizel and Ben-Zvi, 1980; Mizel, 1982; Dinarello, 1984; Oppenheim et al.,1986). More recent studies indicate that IL-1 may also play an essential role in thymocyte maturation (DeLuca and Mizel, 1986). B cells, as well as T cells, have been characterized as IL-1 responsive. For example, IL-1 can induce the synthesis of kappa light chains and surface immunoglobulin expression in pre-B cells (Giri et al.,1984) and function as a comitogen in B cell proliferation (Howard et al.,1983). Within the last few years, it has become evident that the biologic activity of IL-1 is not restricted to lymphocytes. Indeed, this mediator can modify the growth and secretory activity of a large number of cell types, including fibroblasts, hepatocytes, endothelial cells, chondrocytes, natural killer cells, synovial cells, and osteoclasts (Dinarello, 1984; Oppenheim et al.,1986), which share a common involvement in immune or inflammatory responses. The overlapping responsiveness to IL-1 may provide one mechanism for the coordinated control of the diverse cell types that are involved in an immune or inflammatory response.


Fetal Thymus Murine Thymocyte Thymocyte Proliferation Nonlymphoid Cell Fetal Thymus Organ Culture 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven B. Mizel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyWake Forest University Medical CenterWinston-SalemUSA

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