D factor, also known as leukemia inhibitory factor, is a pleiotropic cytokine whose role during acute injury and inflammation is not known. Intraperitoneal administration of Escherichia coli endotoxin induced D factor gene expression in mice, and passive immunization against D factor protected them from the lethal effects of endotoxin and blocked endotoxin-induced increases in serum levels of interleukin 1 and 6. Peak levels of tumor necrosis factor and interferon gamma were not affected. These results indicate that D factor is an essential early mediator of the inflammatory cytokine response and therefore may be important in the pathogenesis of the many inflammatory conditions, such as sepsis, arthritis, allograft rejection, and cancer immunotherapy.

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