Both interleukin-1 alpha and interleukin-1 beta are involved as accessory signals in primary antigen (tetanus toxoid) induced human T-cell activation

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cell Immunol, Volume 138, Number 1, p.245-250 (1991)

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Animals; blood; Cell Line; Cells; Cultured; Culture Media; Human; Humans; Immune Sera; immunology; In Vitro; Interleukin-1; Lymphocyte Activation; Netherlands; physiology; Sheep; T-Lymphocytes; Tetanus Toxoid


The function of interleukin-1 alpha and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 alpha, IL-1 beta) in tetanus toxoid (TT) induced T-cell proliferation in cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBL) obtained from healthy donors was assessed by using neutralizing antisera to IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta. The neutralizing capacity and the specificity of the IL-1 antisera were tested by the use of the thymoma EL-4 NOB-1 cell line. Antisera to IL-1 beta effectively neutralized the proliferative capacity of human recombinant IL-1 beta but not of human recombinant IL-1 alpha and vice versa. Addition of either anti-IL-1 beta or anti-IL-1 alpha antiserum to the culture medium hardly affected TT induced T-cell proliferation. However, the proliferative T-cell response was consistently attenuated when a combination of IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta antiserum was used. The antisera were never capable of completely abolishing the T-cell response to TT. We conclude that (a) IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta are both necessary accessory signals for T-cell proliferation to antigen in vitro; (b) in T-cell proliferation IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta are interchangeable; and (c) T-cell proliferation to antigen is only partially dependent on IL-1 as signal