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Hyperthermia in Humans Enhances Interferon-γ Synthesis and Alters the Peripheral Lymphocyte Population

Downing et al., Journal of Interferon Research, doi:10.1089/jir.1988.8.143
Apr 1988  
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Analysis of induced hyperthermia (high body temperature) showing 10 times greater interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production and increased natural killer cells. This response was observed at a core body temperature of ~39°C, highlighting its potential relevance to fever.
Authors perfomed the analysis with healthy human volunteers by immersing them in warm water. Authors found a 10-fold increase in interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production by lymphocytes. IFN-γ has antiviral, immunomodulatory, and cell-activating functions. They also found an increase in natural killer cells, which have antitumor and antiviral activity, and increased suppressor/cytotoxic T cells and decreased helper T cells.
Authors suggest that the increased IFN-γ production and immunological changes may be relevant to fever during infections. Elevated body temperature may enhance antiviral defenses and immune cell responses.
Study covers acetaminophen, thermotherapy, ibuprofen, aspirin, and indomethacin.
Downing et al., 30 Apr 1988, Canada, peer-reviewed, 5 authors.
This PaperIbuprofenAll
Hyperthermia in Humans Enhances Interferon-7 Synthesis and Alters the Peripheral Lymphocyte Population
J F Downing, H Martinez-Valdez, " R S Elizondo, E B Walker, M W Taylor1
Induction of hyperthermia (39°C) in human volunteers by immersion in warm water (41-45°C) rapidly alters the cell populations in the peripheral blood. In addition to granulocytosis, there is an alteration of the normal ratios among T-lymphocyte subsets. Follow¬ ing in vitro mitogen stimulation, lymphocytes from hyperthermic individuals produce as much as 10-fold more interferon-(IFN-) than cells withdrawn at basal core tempera¬ tures from the same individuals. A temperature threshold of 39°C for this response sug¬ gests potential relevance to fever. No change was noted in the activity of the macrophage population. The possible involvement of interleukin-2 (IL-2) in this enhanced production is discussed. No changes were noted in the circulating levels of IFN-.
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