Tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6 production by human mononuclear phagocytes from allergic asthmatics after IgE-dependent stimulation

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1992 Sep;146(3):768-74. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/146.3.768.


We have previously demonstrated the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) by alveolar macrophages (AM) from allergic asthmatics developing a late asthmatic reaction after bronchial allergen challenge. In order to explain the modalities of this monokine synthesis, we tested in vitro the effect of an IgE-dependent stimulation on blood monocytes (BM) and AM from control and asthmatic subjects. TNF and IL-6 secretions were evaluated in 24-h supernatants by radioimmunoassay and by the 7TD1 cell proliferation test, respectively. AM from allergic asthmatics secreted spontaneously higher concentrations of TNF and IL-6 than did BM or AM from control subjects. BM from asthmatics also produced spontaneously increased levels of TNF, but at a lesser degree than did AM. The addition of anti-IgE induced a significant increase of TNF and IL-6 secretions by mononuclear phagocytes from control subjects only after previous sensitization with IgE-rich medium. In contrast, the direct stimulation by allergen or anti-IgE of AM and BM from asthmatics enhanced significantly the production of TNF and IL-6 when compared with cells cultured in medium alone. In these conditions, IgE-dependent activation of cells from allergic asthmatics compared with those from control subjects increased monokine production in a similar manner. Costimulation by recombinant human interferon gamma and IgE-dependent triggering had a synergistic effect on TNF production, but it had only an additive action on IL-6 synthesis (respective increase index: 9.8 compared with 2.9 and 9.8 compared with 2.1, respectively, for BM from control and asthmatic subjects).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Cell Separation
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis*
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects*
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / drug effects
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / immunology
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*


  • Interleukin-6
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Interferon-gamma