IFN-gamma enhances production of IFN-alpha in human macrophages but not in monocytes

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1996 Jun;16(6):461-3. doi: 10.1089/jir.1996.16.461.


Monocytes/macrophages are efficient producers of alpha interferons (IFN), and IFN-gamma is a potent activator of these cells. The present study sought to investigate whether IFN-alpha affects the capacity of human monocytes/macrophages to produce IFN-alpha on induction with Sendai virus. Plastic-adherent human peripheral blood monocytes were grown in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) for 3 weeks during which they were transformed into macrophages. At various times, the cultures were pretreated for 24 h with IFN-gamma and induced with Sendai virus for IFN-alpha production. Pretreatment with IFN-gamma had no effect on the production of IFN-alpha during the first days in culture. The production of IFN-alpha was thereafter significantly enhanced by the IFN-gamma pretreatment. Minute amounts of IFN-gamma, < or = 0.1 IU/ml, increased the production of IFN-alpha in macrophages cultured for more than 7 days. The cooperation between IFN-gamma and IFN-alpha in macrophages may play a role in the antiviral defense of the body.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Inducers / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Interferon-alpha / blood
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Monocytes / drug effects*
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Respirovirus / physiology


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon Inducers
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interferon-gamma