Hyperthermia in humans enhances interferon-gamma synthesis and alters the peripheral lymphocyte population

J Interferon Res. 1988 Apr;8(2):143-50. doi: 10.1089/jir.1988.8.143.


Induction of hyperthermia (39 degrees C) in human volunteers by immersion in warm water (41-45 degrees C) rapidly alters the cell populations in the peripheral blood. In addition to granulocytosis, there is an alteration of the normal ratios among T-lymphocyte subsets. Following in vitro mitogen stimulation, lymphocytes from hyperthermic individuals produce as much as 10-fold more interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) than cells withdrawn at basal core temperatures from the same individuals. A temperature threshold of 39 degrees C for this response suggests potential relevance to fever. No change was noted in the activity of the macrophage population. The possible involvement of interleukin-2 (IL-2) in this enhanced production is discussed. No changes were noted in the circulating levels of IFN-gamma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / metabolism


  • Interleukin-2
  • Interferon-gamma