The actions of interferon and antiinflammatory agents of induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase in human peripheral blood monocytes

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1987 May 14;144(3):1147-53. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(87)91431-8.


Interferon substantially induced indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and increased L-tryptophan metabolism in human peripheral blood monocytes. The induction of dioxygenase by gamma-interferon was significantly higher than that observed with alpha-interferon. This cytokine-dependent induction of the enzyme was markedly and differentially altered by antiinflammatory drugs (i.e., acetaminophen, 3-deazaadenosine, indomethacin and dexamethasone). Dexamethasone potentiated the effect of gamma-interferon and resulted in "super-induction" of the enzyme. This is the first demonstration of the interferon-elicited induction of the dioxygenase in the cells of the immune system and of a novel mechanism for regulating tryptophan metabolism in the cells.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Humans
  • Interferon Type I / physiology*
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology*
  • Kinetics
  • Kynurenine / blood
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / enzymology*
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Oxygenases / biosynthesis*
  • Tryptophan / blood
  • Tryptophan Oxygenase


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Interferon Type I
  • Kynurenine
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Tryptophan
  • Oxygenases
  • Tryptophan Oxygenase