Different pattern of cytokine production and mRNA expression by lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells isolated from human palatine tonsil

G. Lisignoli, C. Pozzi, S. Toneguzzi, M. Tomassetti, M. C G Monaco, A. Facchini

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To investigate the cytokines involved in the interaction between circulating (B and T lymphocytes) and non-circulating (stromal cells) elements present in lymphoid tissue, highly purified populations were isolated from human tonsils and the cytokine production and mRNA expression (interleukin-1 α, -2, -4, -5, -6, -8, -10, leukocyte inhibitory factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interferon-γ) were assessed both by immunoassay and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction under resting conditions and after activation with tumor necrosis factor-α. Under basal conditions most cytokines were not detected, except for interleukin-8 which was produced by T lymphocytes and lymphoid cells. Activation by tumor necrosis factor-α induced interleukin-8 production by B lymphocytes. Tonsillar T lymphocytes expressed mRNA for interleukin-1 α, -8, -10, -4, leukocytes inhibitory factor, and interferon-γ; only interleukin-4 was expressed by resting peripheral blood T lymphocytes. Tonsillar B lymphocytes were mRNA positive for interleukin-1 α, -8 -10, leukocyte inhibitory factor, and interferon-γ; these were not expressed be peripheral blood B lymphocytes. Stromal cells constitutively produce interleukin-6 whose levels increased 5 times upon tumor necrosis factor-α activation Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-8 were detected only after tumor necrosis factor-α activation. Only stromal cells constitutively express interleukin-6 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and show a cytokine pattern different from that described for other non-lymphoid cells, such as follicular dendritic cells. These data indicate that in the human tonsil population, lymphoid and non-lymphoid cells can be distinguished by different patterns of cytokine expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998


  • Cytokine
  • Lymphocyte
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
  • Stromal cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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