The role of macrophages in the production of lymphokines by T and B lymphocytes

S. M. Wahl, J. M. Wilton, D. L. Rosenstreich, J. J. Oppenheim

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58 Scopus citations


The role of macrophages in the production of 2 lymphokines, monocyte chemotactic factor and macrophage activating factor, was investigated. Lymphokine production by guinea pig lymph node and spleen cells required macrophages for thymus dependent antigens and mitogens. In contrast, B cell stimulants which also induce the synthesis of lymphokines were macrophage independent. When populations of relatively pure B or T lymphocytes were isolated, it was found that T cells required viable macrophage cooperation to product these 2 lymphokines and to undergo proliferation in response to specific antigens, whereas B cells could be directly activated in the absence of macrophages. These findings suggest that T and B cells have different requirements for activation and for macrophage cooperation. Furthermore, since lymphokine synthesis is evident within the first 4 hr of stimulant presentation, these observations demonstrate that macrophages play an essential role in the earliest events of lymphocyte activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1301
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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