Keratinocytes produce an IL-1 like factor termed epidermal cell-derived thymocyte-activating factor (ETAF). In this study, we show that ETAF and IL-1 are identical by the following criteria: Both normal and malignant human keratinocytes contain mRNAs identical to monocytic IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta mRNA, as determined by an S1 nuclease protection assay; and IL-1 activity in medium conditioned by these cells can be neutralized by antibodies specific for human IL-1. The IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta mRNAs can be identified in cultured human keratinocytes in the absence of identifiable stimulation; this basal level of mRNA can be further induced to accumulate with certain defined stimuli. Cultured normal human keratinocytes (HFKs) contain 2-4 times more IL-1 alpha than IL-1 beta mRNA; in contrast, human peripheral blood monocytes contain 10-20 times more IL-1 beta than IL-1 alpha mRNA. The IL-1 activity released by these HFK can be neutralized by an antibody that neutralizes both alpha and beta IL-1, but not by an antibody that neutralizes only IL-1 beta. While human monocytes produce a large excess of IL-1 beta after appropriate stimulation, these data suggest that IL-1 alpha is a major (and may be the predominant) form of IL-1 produced by human keratinocytes.

This content is only available as a PDF.