Increased interleukin-1 production and monocyte suppressor cell activity associated with human tuberculosis

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1986 Jan;133(1):73-7. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1986.133.1.73.


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) production by blood monocytes and blastogenesis produced by tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) in blood T lymphocytes were examined in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. Monocytes were isolated from blood mononuclear cells by plastic adherence, and IL-1 activity was determined in the mouse thymocyte proliferation assay. Monocytes from patients with tuberculosis produced significantly higher activities of IL-1 than did those from healthy tuberculin reactors when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (patients, 56.1 +/- 20.0 U/ml; healthy control subjects, 7.3 +/- 1.7 U/ml; p less than 0.05) or PPD (patients, 28.1 +/- 7.2 U/ml; healthy control subjects, 9.5 +/- 2.9 U/ml; p less than 0.05). In contrast, PPD-induced blastogenic responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from the patients were lower than those from healthy subjects (patients, 4,506 +/- 1,145 cpm; healthy control subjects, 14,655 +/- 2,240 cpm; p less than 0.005), and IL-1 production by monocytes showed a positive correlation with monocyte suppressor activity for PPD-induced blastogenesis. Moreover, exogenous IL-1 was capable of suppressing antigen-induced blastogenesis of PBMC from healthy subjects. These data suggest that monocytes from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis are activated to produce or secrete increased levels of IL-1 and that IL-1 may be a mediator of suppressor cell function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Tuberculin / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / blood
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Interleukin-1
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Tuberculin