Human hepatoma cells mimic the acute phase response after treatment with monocyte-conditioned medium. Levels of secreted fibrinogen, alpha-1 acid glycoprotein, C-reactive protein, haptoglobin, and the third component of complement were elevated compared with control levels after 48 h of incubation with conditioned supernatant medium from an enriched fraction of normal peripheral monocytes. Albumin levels declined and alpha-1 antitrypsin remained unchanged. Levels of specific mRNA were measured by hybridization to slot blots and Northern blots and changed in correspondence with protein alterations. Interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor stimulated the third component of complement, but did not elevate any other member of the acute phase group and were therefore only partially active in this system. The identification of an in vitro model of the human acute phase response will permit analysis of the molecular basis for coordinate regulation of this group of facultative genes.

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