Mycoplasma fermentans-derived high-molecular-weight material (MDHM) was originally discovered because of its capacity to generate, through the induction of monokine synthesis, cytolytic T lymphocytes in concanavalin A-stimulated thymocyte cultures. This study shows that MDHM-activated macrophages not only released interleukin-6 (IL-6) but also exhibited increased synthesis of cell-associated IL-1 as well as liberation of tumornecrosis factor and prostaglandin. We determined 6-keto prostaglandin F1 alpha since it is the stable metabolite of the bioactive prostacyclin. MDHM appeared to be as potent as lipopolysaccharide in inducing the synthesis of these mediators. Priming with gamma interferon further increased MDHM-mediated IL-6 release. Since monokines can be pyrogenic, we tested the effects of an intravenous injection of MDHM on rectal temperatures and leukocyte counts in rabbits. At 1 h after a bolus injection of MDHM, leukocyte counts dropped to about 35% of the initial values, reflecting a decrease in both lymphocytes and granulocytes. At 4 to 6 h after injection, granulocyte counts began to increase again, whereas lymphocyte counts remained low. No leukocytosis was noted during this time. The lack of leukocytosis can be explained by the failure of MDHM-stimulated macrophages to release IL-1. The property of MDHM to cause IL-6 release from macrophages and the IL-6 growth dependency of the 7TD1 hybridoma cell line were made use of in a coculture assay system to quantitate the activity of MDHM. With this method and macrophages from C3H/HeJ lipopolysaccharide-nonresponder mice, MDHM activity was found to be equally distributed in the mycoplasma growth medium and the sedimented mycoplasmas after sonication.
Infection and Immunity
Infect Immun. 1991 Nov;59(11):3969-74