Phagocytosis of bacteria stimulates "professional" phagocytes to produce and release endogenous pyrogen (EP), the protein that mediates fever. To determine whether "nonprofessional" phagocytes also have this capacity, mouse and human fibroblasts and HeLa cells were cultured after ingestion of latex or chicken erythrocytes (CE), and EP release into culture supernate measured by mouse assay. No detectable pyrogen was released by these cell types after phagocytosis, whereas both latex and CE stimulated EP production by cultured mouse macrophages. These studies support the hypothesis that only professional phagocytes of bone marrow origin synthesize EP and induce fever.

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