Four different human fibroblast cell lines synthesized C2 and factor B. Factor B synthesis was increased 12.1-fold by 50 ng/ml LPS and 7.1-fold by 100 U/ml IFN-gamma. C2 synthesis was increased only 2.1-fold by LPS, but 6.4-fold by IFN-gamma. Both LPS and IFN-gamma increased levels of factor B mRNA. LPS induced a 4.7-fold greater increase in factor B protein than in factor B mRNA, whereas IFN-gamma stimulated comparable increases in protein and mRNA. These data suggest that LPS acts to increase factor B synthesis at both pretranslational and translational sites, while IFN-gamma acts primarily at a pretranslational level. In contrast to factor B, increases in C2 protein and C2 mRNA were comparable for both stimuli. A synergistic effect between the two stimuli was observed for factor B only: protein synthesis was increased 54.5-fold or 2.8-fold greater than the additive effects of the stimuli separately. The rate of synthesis in the presence of LPS and IFN-gamma together could not be achieved by increasing concentrations of, or the times of incubation with, either stimulus separately. The synergism was not the result of an increased sensitivity of the cells to either stimulus and was not reproduced by preincubation with one stimulus before incubation with the other stimulus. Several lines of evidence suggest that the synergism, like the stimulation of factor B synthesis by LPS, was dependent on both translational and pretranslational regulation of factor B mRNA. C2 and factor B synthesized in human fibroblasts may play a role in host defense in inflammatory reactions before increases in vascular permeability and recruitment of other complement producing cells.

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