Guinea pig periotoneal exudate (PE) cells incubated overnight in vitro with heat-killed Staphylococci released an endogenous pyrogen (EP) that could be assayed by intravenous injection in rabbits. The febrile responses were linearly related to the dosage of EP over an eightfold range. PE cells derived from guinea pigs with delayed hypersensitivity (DH) to bovine gamma globulin (BGG), also released EP when incubated with antigen in vitro. This reaction was specific and did not occur withe PE cells from normal or complete Freund's adjuvant-sensitized guinea pigs. Studies indicated that monos and/or polymorphonuclear leukocytes rather than lymphocytes were the source of EP. However, when incubated with BGG and sufficient dosages of BGG-sensitized lymphocytes, normal PE cells released EP over a 42 h period. These results suggest that antigen stimulates specifically sensitized lymphocytes to release an agent (perhaps a lymphokine) that activates phagocytic cells to release EP. This model offers unique advantages for investigating in vitro the role of the lymphocyte in antigen-induced fever in DH as well as the relationship of this lymphocyte-induced activity to other known biologic activities mediated by antigen stimulated lymphocytes.

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