The in vivo effects of rhIL-1α therapy on human monocyte activity

A. M. Lee, S. Vadhan-Raj, R. F. Hamilton, R. K. Scheule, A. Holian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Pleiotropic cytokines such as interleukin-1α (IL-1α) have multiple effects on peripheral blood monocytes (PBMs). This study examined the ability of in vivo recombinant human IL-1α (rhIL-1α) therapy to enhance clinically important monocyte functions in ovarian cancer patients prior to chemotherapy. After 4 days of continuous infusion, in vivo rhIL-1α therapy amplified both the number and activity of PBMs. Therapy with rhIL-1α increased the number of PBMs sixfold. These monocytes had a significantly increased ability to produce superoxide anion in response to phorbol 12,13- dibutyrate stimulation. Their ability to secrete spontaneously the immunomodulatory cytokines IL-1α and IL-1β was significantly increased, but their ability to secrete tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) was not significantly elevated. These effects of rhIL-1α infusion on cytokine secretion by PBMs appear to be related to rhIL-1α-induced increases in the mRNA levels for these cytokines. In contrast, rhIL-1α therapy did not significantly alter PBM response to lipopolysaccharide (10 μg/ml). In summary, infused rhIL-1α, in addition to its use as a myeloprotective agent, has enhancing effects on the number and activity of PBMs. The effects of rhIL-1α infusion on PBM function demonstrated here should at least transiently increase the ability of monocytes to combat infection and enhance host immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • interleukin-1
  • interleukin-1α
  • monocytes
  • superoxide anion
  • tumor necrosis factor α


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