Differential effects of in vitro mycoplasma infection on interleukin-1 alpha and beta mRNA expression in U937 and A431 cells.
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Cultured cells depend on cytokine mediators for sustained growth and maintenance and are routinely employed in bioassays to detect and measure minute changes in biological mediators, e.g. the interferons and interleukins. We evaluated the effects of mycoplasma infection on the steady-state mRNA levels of two cytokines IL-1 alpha and beta. Noninfected human squamous carcinoma cell line A431 expressed constitutively IL-1 alpha and beta mRNA. In contrast freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and the monocytic cell line U937 expressed abundant IL-1 mRNA only after the appropriate stimulation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells and U937 steady-state IL-1 beta mRNA levels were considerably greater than IL-1 alpha mRNA levels, whereas nearly equivalent high levels of IL-1 alpha and beta mRNA were detected in A431 cells. Mycoplasma infection of cultured A431 cells reduced the steady-state levels of IL-1 alpha and beta mRNA. This effect was nonspecific for A431 cells as actin mRNA steady-state levels showed similar decreases to mycoplasma contamination. However, this response was cell specific since mycoplasma-free and contaminated U937 cells differed little in IL-1 mRNA expression. These results show that the response to mycoplasma infection is at least partly cell-type dependent.
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