Cells obtained from acute peritoneal exudates in rabbits were separated into neutrophil and mononuclear populations by centrifugation on colloidal silica gradients. When these populations were separately incubated in tissue culture medium in the presence of opsonized Staphylococcus epidermidis, endogenous pyrogen was secreted only by the adherent cells of the mononuclear population. Pyrogen production by neutrophils could not have amounted to as much as 1% of the pyrogen produced by macrophages. When mononuclear cells were added back to purified neutrophils, no pyrogen was produced that could not be accounted for by the number of macrophages added. Rabbit blood cells were similarly fractionated on colloidal silica gradients. Again, endogenous pyrogen was made only by the adherent mononuclear population. The neutrophils isolated on these gradients appeared to be morphologically normal and were 85% viable as judged by dye exclusion. They showed normal random motility. Both blood and exudate neutrophils responded chemotactically to N-formyl Met-Leu-Phe, and blood neutrophils responded chemotactically to zymosan-activated serum. Both kinds of neutrophils phagocytosed zymosan particles and both killed opsonized S. epidermidis in a roller tube system. Both blood and exudate neutrophils showed normal superoxide production when stimulated with opsonized zymosan particles. This evidence suggests that macrophages are the only source of endogenous pyrogens, and that pyrogens secreted by cell populations that are rich in neutrophils are to be attributed to the monocytes or macrophages that they contain.

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