Dependency on interleukin-1 of primary human in vitro T cell responses to soluble antigens

Eur J Immunol. 1992 Sep;22(9):2353-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830220926.


The role of interleukin (IL)-1 in antigen-specific activation of naive human T cells has been examined. Primary human T cell proliferative responses to the soluble antigen keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) were decreased by neutralizing antisera to IL-1 alpha (25 +/- 7% standard error) and IL-1 beta (56 +/- 6% standard error). Inhibition by both antisera in a primary culture was usually additive. Recombinant IL-1 alpha and recombinant IL-1 beta could both re-establish responses in cultures blocked by neutralizing anti-IL-1 beta. Interestingly, the susceptibility of KLH-stimulated T cell responses to inhibition by neutralizing anti-IL-1 sera decreased with time in culture. This observation suggested that T cell responses may become less IL-1 dependent as T cells become activated or primed. In support of this notion, secondary T cell responses to purified protein derivative from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (PPD) were markedly less affected by the addition of comparable amounts of the neutralizing anti-IL-1 sera. These results demonstrate that IL-1 is one of the main co-stimulators for primary T cell activation and suggest a different requirement for IL-1 in the activation of naive compared to memory human T cells.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hemocyanins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera / immunology
  • Interleukin-1 / physiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Solubility
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tuberculin / immunology


  • Immune Sera
  • Interleukin-1
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tuberculin
  • Hemocyanins
  • keyhole-limpet hemocyanin