Regulation of lymphocyte proliferation and differentiation by macrophages

D. I. Beller, A. G. Farr, E. R. Unanue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this paper, the authors consider the role of a macrophage secretory product in promoting thymocyte differentiation, as well as a macrophage-immune T cell interaction that results in augmented secretion of lymphostimulatory factors. When cultured with the thymocyte-differentiating factor (TDF), thymocytes show a physiological increase in H-2D and K, decreased sensitivity to lysis with anti-TL and complement, and acquisition of responsiveness in the mixed lymphocyte culture. Development of the mature phenotype requires 2 to 3 days of culture and, once attained, is stable. The induced antigenic changes do not require cell division. The activity demonstrated by TDF, which is not attributable to interferon and cannot be replaced by 2-mercaptoethanol, is also displayed by normal thymic macrophages themselves. Enhanced secretion of TDF and of a distinct mitogenic protein follows the interaction of macrophages and immune T cells. This interaction is shown to require physical contact of the two cell types and is regulated by products of the I-A region of the major histocompatibility complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalFederation proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1978


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