Impaired mitogen-induced interferon-gamma production in rheumatoid arthritis and related diseases

Scand J Immunol. 1988 Jan;27(1):73-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.1988.tb02324.x.


Peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS), Reiter's disease, osteoarthritis, and from healthy volunteers were investigated for interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production after mitogen activation. Phytohaemagglutinin stimulation revealed an impaired IFN-gamma production in RA, SLE, and PSS but normal levels in Reiter's disease and osteoarthritis. In RA this deficiency was also seen after pokeweed mitogen, OKT3, and concanavalin A activation. No major differences were found in interleukin 2 (IL-2) production and cell proliferation. The IL-2 receptor expression was reduced on stimulated RA lymphocytes. The deficient IFN-gamma production was compensated in RA by co-stimulation of PHA or OKT3 with phorbol myristic acetate (PMA). In addition, the combination of the calcium ionophore A 23187 and PMA induced a strong IFN-gamma secretion in all patient groups and in the controls.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Reactive / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Calcimycin / pharmacology
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Lectins / pharmacology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation* / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / immunology
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / immunology
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • Lectins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Calcimycin
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate