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Detection of cytokine gene expression in human monocytes and lymphocytes by fluorescent in situ hybridization in cell suspension and flow cytometry.

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The use of digoxigenin (DIG)- and biotin-labelled dsDNA probes to detect TNFalpha-mRNA accumulation in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and isolated monocytes is described. The fragment of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase GAPDH-cDNA was used as a control probe. The hybridization signals were detected by staining with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled anti-DIG antibody and avidin-FITC, respectively. The cells were stimulated in vitro with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 0.5-6 h. The TNFalpha-mRNA was detected in monocytes 1 h after stimulation with LPS, and the highest accumulation was seen around 2 h. The TNFalpha-mRNA in stimulated PBMC was detected at the lower level peaking around 4 h. The TNFalpha-mRNA accumulation was lower in lymphocytes than in monocytes when PBMC were studied. There was no difference in the level of GAPDH-mRNA between unstimulated and stimulated cells. Finally, an enhanced accumulation of TNFalpha-mRNA was observed in PBMC from some patients with sepsis or cancer. Thus, this study shows that cytokine gene expression may be detected in cells ex vivo. This opens the possibility of studying the level of cytokine gene activation in PBMC of patients with diseases where the role of cytokines in their pathophysiology is implicated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Clinical Immunology, Polish-American Institute of Paediatrics, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, 30-663 Cracow, Poland.

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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