Material obtained from the in vitro incubation of granulocytes from saline-induced peritoneal exudates of rabbits has been shown to produce inflammation and fever in rabbits. The supernatant material from cells incubated in saline has been termed granulocytic substance (GS) and is heat-labile. Its production is temperature dependent, occurring at 37°C but not at 4°C, requires viable cells, and is inhibited by potassium ions. A similar material is liberated when cells are incubated in a more physiologic medium. Freezing and thawing of granulocytes does not release GS and the active principle cannot be obtained from the incubation of lymphocytes.
GS produces a delayed inflammatory response as measured by leucocyte sticking and emigration in the rabbit ear chamber and the leakage of protein-conjugated dye at the site of intradermal injection. The former response can be accurately quantitated by calculation of the inflammatory index from reactions observed in the ear chamber. The inflammatory reaction and the properties of GS distinguish it from a variety of previously described mediators of inflammation, but GS appears to be identical with leucocytic pyrogen. The possible role of GS in delayed and protracted inflammation and its relationship to the pathogenesis of fever are discussed.