The characteristics of pyrogen production and release by human blood monocytes were investigated. A dose-response assay of monocyte pyrogen in rabbits indicated a linear relationship of temperature elevation to dose of pyrogen at lower doses. Monocytes did not contain pyrogen when first obtained, nor did they release it spontaneously even after 5 days of incubation in vitro. Pyrogen production was apparent 4 h after stimulation by endotoxin or phagocytosis, and continued for 24 h or more. Puromycin, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, prevented both initiation and continuation of pyrogen production and release. Pyrogen-containing supernates retained most pyrogenic activity during overnight incubation even in the presence of activated cells. Lymphocytes appeared to play no role in either initiation or continuation of pyrogen production in these studies.

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