TNF-resistant lines of L cells can be derived from TNF-sensitive populations by repeated exposure to TNF, and these resistant L cells, in contrast to sensitive L cells and other types of cells, lack demonstrable cell surface receptors for TNF. We have now found that TNF-resistant L cells produce a factor that is cytotoxic for L cells and has the following distinguishing characteristics of mouse TNF: it is a protein of 43 kD, composed of 16 kD subunits, that competes with TNF for receptor binding, induces hemorrhagic necrosis of the TNF-sensitive mouse sarcoma Meth A, has synergistic cytotoxic action with interferon, and its activity is neutralized by antibody to TNF. The two conclusions of this study are that cells selected for TNF resistance spontaneously produce a molecule resembling macrophage TNF, and that cells of nonhematopoietic origin are capable of producing TNF.

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