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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Stimulation of human gamma interferon production by diterpene esters.

The diterpene ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and several structurally related compounds were tested for their ability to stimulate interferon (IFN) production in primary cultures of human leukocytes. In cultures of Ficoll-Hypaque-purified mononuclear cells, TPA treatment alone induced only low levels of IFN, but TPA pretreatment of cells caused significant enhancement of IFN yields produced with phytohemagglutinin or several other T cell mitogens. In cultures of unprocessed cells derived from plateletpheresis residues or buffy coats, TPA treatment alone induced high levels of IFN and costimulation with TPA and phytohemagglutinin produced some further enhancement of IFN production. Phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate was comparable to TPA in its ability to enhance phytohemagglutinin-induced IFN production. Several other phorbol ester analogs were also active, but maximal stimulation occurred only at higher drug concentrations. Mezerein, a structurally related diterpene ester, was at least as active as TPA in stimulating IFN production in either Ficoll-Hypaque-purified or unprocessed cells. IFN produced after stimulation with TPA or mezerein, singly or in combination with phytohemagglutinin, had several properties characteristic of IFN-gamma, e.g., it was largely inactivated by dialysis at pH 2, or after exposure to sodium dodecyl sulfate, whereas it was not neutralized by antibody to IFN-alpha and IFN-beta. The stimulatory effect of diterpene esters has proved helpful in producing IFN-gamma for physicochemical analysis and other studies.[1]


  1. Stimulation of human gamma interferon production by diterpene esters. Yip, Y.K., Pang, R.H., Oppenheim, J.D., Nachbar, M.S., Henriksen, D., Zerebeckyj-Eckhardt, I., Vilcek, J. Infect. Immun. (1981) [Pubmed]
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