Pro-inflammatory pathways may be activated under conditions of painful stress, which is hypothesized to worsen the pain experience and place medically-vulnerable populations at risk for increased morbidity.
To evaluate the effects of pain and subjective pain-related stress on pro-inflammatory activity.
A total of 19 healthy control subjects underwent a single standard cold-pressor pain test (CPT) and a no-pain control condition. Indicators of pain and stress were measured and related to inflammatory immune responses (CD811a, IL-1RA, and IL-6) immediately following the painful stimulus, and compared to responses under non-pain conditions. Heart rate and mean arterial pressure were measured as indicators of sympathetic stimulation.
CPT was clearly painful and generated an activation of the sympathetic nervous system. CD811a increased in both conditions, but with no statistically significant greater increase following CPT (p < .06). IL-1RA demonstrated a non-statistically significant increase following CPT (p < .07). The change in IL-6 following CPT differed significantly from the response seen in the control condition (p < .02).
These findings suggest that CP acute pain may affect proinflammatory pathways, possibly through mechanisms related to adrenergic activation.
pain; stress; cytokines; cellular adhesion molecules; neuro-hormonal response; neuro-immune
CXCL13 and CXCR5 are a chemokine and receptor pair whose interaction is critical for naïve B cell trafficking and activation within germinal centers. We sought to determine whether CXCL13 levels are elevated prior to HIV-associated non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma (AIDS-NHL), and whether polymorphisms in CXCL13 or CXCR5 are associated with AIDS-NHL risk and CXCL13 levels in a large cohort of HIV-infected men.
CXCL13 levels were measured in sera from 179 AIDS-NHL cases and 179 controls at three time-points. TagSNPs in CXCL13 (n=16) and CXCR5 (n=11) were genotyped in 183 AIDS-NHL cases and 533 controls. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between one unit increase in log CXCL13 levels and AIDS-NHL, as well as tagSNP genotypes and AIDS-NHL, were computed using logistic regression. Mixed linear regression was used to estimate mean ratios (MR) for the association between tagSNPs and CXCL13 levels.
CXCL13 levels were elevated >3 years (OR=3.24, 95% CI=1.90–5.54), 1–3 years (OR=3.39, 95% CI=1.94–5.94) and 0–1 year (OR=3.94, 95% CI=1.98–7.81) prior to an AIDS-NHL diagnosis. The minor allele of CXCL13 rs355689 was associated with reduced AIDS-NHL risk (ORTCvsTT=0.65; 95% CI=0.45–0.96) and reduced CXCL13 levels (MRCCvsTT=0.82, 95% CI=0.68–0.99). The minor allele of CXCR5 rs630923 was associated with increased CXCL13 levels (MRAAvsTT=2.40, 95% CI=1.43–4.50).
CXCL13 levels were elevated preceding an AIDS-NHL diagnosis, genetic variation in CXCL13 may contribute to AIDS-NHL risk, and CXCL13 levels may be associated with genetic variation in CXCL13 and CXCR5.
CXCL13 may serve as a biomarker for early AIDS-NHL detection.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; HIV; CXCL13; CXCR5; chemokine
We performed a pooled analysis of data on self-reported history of infections in relation to the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) from 17 case-control studies that included 12,585 cases and 15,416 controls aged 16–96 years at recruitment. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated in two-stage random-effect or joint fixed-effect models, adjusting for age, sex and study centre. Data from the two years prior to diagnosis (or date of interview for controls) were excluded. A self-reported history of infectious mononucleosis (IM) was associated with an excess risk of NHL (OR=1.26, 95% CI=1.01–1.57 based on data from 16 studies); study-specific results indicate significant (I2=51%, p=0.01) heterogeneity. A self-reported history of measles or whooping cough was associated with an approximate 15% reduction in risk. History of other infection was not associated with NHL. We find little clear evidence of an association between NHL risk and infection although the limitations of data based on self-reported medical history (particularly of childhood illness reported by older people) are well recognised.
Although bereavement is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in the surviving spouse, some widow(er)s remain healthy. Genetic variability in expression of inflammatory markers in response to stress may be the key to this observation. The present study compares bereaved vs. married/partnered older adults, investigating the impact of bereavement status, pro-inflammatory cytokine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on circulating markers of inflammation and hypothesizing a gene by environment (GxE) effect. The study sample included 64 older adults, of which 36 were widow(er)s. Circulating levels of inflammatory markers IL-6, IL-1RA and sTNFRII were measured. Participants were genotyped for SNPs in the IL-6 gene (IL-6 – 174 and –572), the IL-1β gene (IL-1β –511), and TNF-α gene (TNF-α –308). Grief severity was assessed with the Inventory of Complicated Grief. Bereaved participants had higher circulating levels of IL-1RA and IL-6. This increase could not be explained by pro-inflammatory genotype frequency differences, or Complicated Grief diagnosis. However, a GxE effect with the IL-6 –174 SNP moderated individual vulnerability to higher circulating levels of inflammation resulting from bereavement exposure. These results suggest a possible mechanism for the increase in morbidity and mortality in the surviving spouse. Genetic variability interacts with an environmental stressor, leading to increased inflammatory markers in genetically susceptible subjects only. For these patients, clinical interventions for bereavement-related stressor reduction might be crucial for overall health.
Aging; Bereavement; Cytokines; Gene; Gene by environment; Grief; IL-1; IL-6, TNF-a; Inflammation
Lonely older adults have increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes as well as increased risk for morbidity and mortality. Previous behavioral treatments have attempted to reduce loneliness and its concomitant health risks, but have had limited success. The present study tested whether the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program (compared to a Wait-List control group) reduces loneliness and downregulates loneliness-related pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults (N=40). Consistent with study predictions, mixed effect linear models indicated that the MBSR program reduced loneliness, compared to small increases in loneliness in the control group (treatment condition × time interaction: F(1,35)=7.86, p=.008). Moreover, at baseline, there was an association between reported loneliness and upregulated pro-inflammatory NF-κB-related gene expression in circulating leukocytes, and MBSR downregulated this NF-κB-associated gene expression profile at post-treatment. Finally, there was a trend for MBSR to reduce C Reactive Protein (treatment condition × time interaction: (F(1,33)=3.39, p=.075). This work provides an initial indication that MBSR may be a novel treatment approach for reducing loneliness and related pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults.
meditation; mindfulness; older adults; aging; loneliness; genetics; gene expression; stress
Fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbance are common adverse effects of cancer treatment and frequently co-occur. However, the possibility that inflammatory processes may underlie this constellation of symptoms has not been examined.
Patients and Methods
Women (N = 103) who had recently finished primary treatment (ie, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) for early-stage breast cancer completed self-report scales and provided blood samples for determination of plasma levels of inflammatory markers: soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor II (sTNF-RII), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, and C-reactive protein.
Symptoms were elevated at the end of treatment; greater than 60% of participants reported clinically significant problems with fatigue and sleep, and 25% reported elevated depressive symptoms. Women treated with chemotherapy endorsed higher levels of all symptoms and also had higher plasma levels of sTNF-RII than women who did not receive chemotherapy (all P < .05). Fatigue was positively associated with sTNF-RII, particularly in the chemotherapy-treated group (P < .05). Depressive symptoms and sleep problems were correlated with fatigue but not with inflammatory markers.
This study confirms high rates of behavioral symptoms in breast cancer survivors, particularly those treated with chemotherapy, and indicates a role for TNF-α signaling as a contributor to postchemotherapy fatigue. Results also suggest that fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression may stem from distinct biologic processes in post-treatment survivors, with inflammatory signaling contributing relatively specifically to fatigue.
The risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is greatly increased in HIV infection. The aim of this study was to determine if elevated serum levels of molecules associated with B cell activation precede the diagnosis of AIDS-associated NHL.
Serum levels of B cell activation-associated molecules, interleukin-6 (IL6), interleukin-10 (IL10), soluble CD23 (sCD23), soluble CD27 (sCD27), soluble CD30 (sCD30), C-reactive protein (CRP), and IgE were determined in 179 NHL cases and HIV+ controls in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, collected at up to three time points per subject, 0–5 years prior to AIDS-NHL diagnosis.
Serum IL6, IL10, CRP, sCD23, sCD27, and sCD30 levels were all significantly elevated in the AIDS-NHL group, when compared to HIV+ controls or to AIDS controls, after adjusting for CD4 T cell number. Elevated serum levels of B cell activation-associated molecules were seen to be associated with the development of systemic (non-CNS) NHL, but not with the development of primary CNS lymphoma.
Levels of certain B cell stimulatory cytokines and molecules associated with immune activation are elevated for several years preceding the diagnosis of systemic AIDS-NHL. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that chronic B cell activation contributes to the development of these hematologic malignancies.
Marked differences in serum levels of several molecules are seen for several years pre-diagnosis in those who eventually develop AIDS-NHL. Some of these molecules may serve as candidate biomarkers and provide valuable information to better define the etiology of NHL.
lymphoma; B cell; cytokines; AIDS; immune activation
Chronic inflammation and B-cell hyperactivation are seen in HIV infection, contributing to an increased risk for the accrual of genetic errors that may result in B-cell lymphoma. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on serum levels of molecules that are associated with immune activation and/or inflammation, including several that are associated with B-cell activation, specifically IL-6, sCD30, sCD27, IgG, IgA, CXCL13 (B lymphocyte chemoattractant, BLC), a B-lymphocyte chemokine involved in B-cell trafficking, as well as C-reactive protein, an acute-phase protein.
We used a retrospective cohort study design, measuring serum levels of these markers at each of four 1-year intervals, 2 years before and 2 years after HAART initiation, in a subgroup of 290 HIV-infected men enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS).
Serum levels of immune activation-associated molecules were measured by ELISA and multiplexed immunometric assays. Reference values were determined by the 5th to 95th percentiles from a sample of 109 HIV-uninfected MACS men.
HAART use was associated with a reduction, but not normalization, of most biomarkers tested. Serum levels of IL-6 and C-reactive protein appeared to be unaffected by HAART.
These results suggest a partial normalization of serum cytokine levels post HAART. However, a chronic state of B-cell hyperactivation continues 2–3 years after HAART initiation. These findings may explain, in part, the excess incidence of lymphoma still occurring in HIV-infected persons in the post-HAART era.
activation; AIDS; antiretroviral therapy; B lymphocytes; highly active; HIV; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
The concentrations of cytokines in human serum and plasma can provide valuable information about in vivo immune status, but low concentrations often require high-sensitivity assays to permit detection. The recent development of multiplex assays, which can measure multiple cytokines in one small sample, holds great promise, especially for studies in which limited volumes of stored serum or plasma are available. Four high-sensitivity cytokine multiplex assays on a Luminex (Bio-Rad, BioSource, Linco) or electrochemiluminescence (Meso Scale Discovery) platform were evaluated for their ability to detect circulating concentrations of 13 cytokines, as well as for laboratory and lot variability. Assays were performed in six different laboratories utilizing archived serum from HIV-uninfected and -infected subjects from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) and commercial plasma samples spanning initial HIV viremia. In a majority of serum samples, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were detectable with at least three kits, while IL-1β was clearly detected with only one kit. No single multiplex panel detected all cytokines, and there were highly significant differences (P < 0.001) between laboratories and/or lots with all kits. Nevertheless, the kits generally detected similar patterns of cytokine perturbation during primary HIV viremia. This multisite comparison suggests that current multiplex assays vary in their ability to measure serum and/or plasma concentrations of cytokines and may not be sufficiently reproducible for repeated determinations over a long-term study or in multiple laboratories but may be useful for longitudinal studies in which relative, rather than absolute, changes in cytokines are important.
There is inconsistent evidence that increasing birth order may be associated with risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The authors examined the association between birth order and related variables and NHL risk in a pooled analysis (1983–2005) of 13,535 cases and 16,427 controls from 18 case-control studies within the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph). Overall, the authors found no significant association between increasing birth order and risk of NHL (P-trend = 0.082) and significant heterogeneity. However, a significant association was present for a number of B- and T-cell NHL subtypes. There was considerable variation in the study-specific risks which was partly explained by study design and participant characteristics. In particular, a significant positive association was present in population-based studies, which had lower response rates in cases and controls, but not in hospital-based studies. A significant positive association was present in higher-socioeconomic-status (SES) participants only. Results were very similar for the related variable of sibship size. The known correlation of high birth order with low SES suggests that selection bias related to SES may be responsible for the association between birth order and NHL.
birth order; case-control studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; selection bias; social class
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) infects B-cells and is found in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) B-cell tumors and could therefore contribute to the occurrence of NHL. We performed a nested case–control study including 155 incident NHL cases and matched noncancer controls. Pre-NHL serum was tested for KSHV DNA and antibodies. Serum KSHV DNA was more common in cases than controls (14% versus 6%, P = 0.03), but after adjustment, the difference was not significant. Epstein-Barr virus serum DNA was similarly unassociated with NHL as were KSHV antibodies. KSHV is not a primary cause of NHL in HIV-infected men who have sex with men.
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirusp; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; MACS; human herpesvirus 8; DNA; AIDS cancer
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in adjacent genes, lymphotoxin alpha (LTA +252G, rs909253 A>G) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF −308A, rs1800629 G>A), form the G-A haplotype repeatedly associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in individuals uninfected with HIV-1. This association has been observed alone or in combination with HLA-B* 08 or HLA-DRB1*03 in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Which gene variant on this highly conserved extended haplotype (CEH 8.1) in Caucasians most likely represents a true etiologic factor remains uncertain. We aimed to determine whether the reported association of the G-A haplotype of LTA-TNF with non-AIDS NHL also occurs with AIDS-related NHL. SNPs in LTA and TNF and in six other genes nearby were typed in 140 non-Hispanic European American pairs of AIDS-NHL cases and matched controls selected from HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. The G-A haplotype and a 4-SNP haplotype in the neighboring gene cluster (rs537160 (A) rs1270942 (G), rs2072633 (A) and rs6467 (C)) were associated with AIDS-NHL (OR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.5–4.8, p=0.0009 and OR=3.2, 95% CI: 1.6–6.6 p=0.0008; respectively). These two haplotypes occur in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other on CEH 8.1. The CEH 8.1-specific haplotype association of MHC class III variants with AIDS-NHL closely resembles that observed for non-AIDS NHL. Corroboration of an MHC determinant of AIDS and non-AIDS NHL alike would imply an important pathogenetic mechanism common to both.
Human Leukocyte Antigen; HIV; CD4; Multicenter AIDS Cohort NHL Study
Background. The homeostatic chemokine, CXCL13 (BLC, BCA-1), helps direct the recirculation of mature, resting B cells, which express its receptor, CXCR5. CXCL13/CXCR5 are expressed, and may play a role, in some non-AIDS-associated B cell tumors. Objective. To determine if CXCL13/CXCR5 are associated with AIDS-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (AIDS-NHL). Methods. Serum CXCL13 levels were measured by ELISA in 46 subjects who developed AIDS-NHL in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and in controls. The expression or function of CXCL13 and CXCR5 was examined on primary AIDS-NHL specimens or AIDS-NHL cell lines. Results. Serum CXCL13 levels were significantly elevated in the AIDS-NHL group compared to controls. All primary AIDS-NHL specimens showed CXCR5 expression and most also showed CXCL13 expression. AIDS-NHL cell lines expressed CXCR5 and showed chemotaxis towards CXCL13. Conclusions. CXCL13/CXCR5 are expressed in AIDS-NHL and could potentially be involved in its biology. CXCL13 may have potential as a biomarker for AIDS-NHL.
We performed a pooled analysis of data on atopic disease and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) from 13 case-control studies, including13,535 NHL cases and 16,388 controls. Self-reported atopic diseases diagnosed two or more years before NHL diagnosis (cases) or interview (controls) were analyzed. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were computed in two-stage random-effects or joint fixed-effects models, adjusted for age, sex, and study center. When modeled individually, lifetime history of asthma, hay fever, a specific allergy (excluding hay fever, asthma and eczema), and food allergy were associated with a significant reduction in NHL risk, and there was no association for eczema. When each atopic condition was included in the same model, reduced NHL risk was only associated with history of allergy (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68–0.94), and reduced B-cell NHL risk was associated with history of hay fever (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77–0.95) and allergy (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.76–0.93). Significant reductions in B-cell NHL risk were also observed in individuals who were likely to be truly or highly atopic - those with hay fever, allergy or asthma and at least one other atopic condition over their lifetime. The inverse associations were consistent for the diffuse large B-cell and follicular subtypes. Eczema was positively associated with lymphomas of the skin; misdiagnosis of lymphoma as eczema is likely, but progression of eczema to cutaneous lymphoma cannot be excluded. This pooled study demonstrates evidence of a modest but consistent reduction in the risk of B-cell NHL associated with atopy.
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; atopy; case-control; pooled analysis; risk
The natural history of human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) has been shown to differ markedly by geographic area. The differences include contrasting patterns of risk of adult T-cell lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), which may be due in part to differences in host immune response to infection. To characterize variations in host immunity across populations, we compared serologic immune marker patterns in HTLV-I-endemic populations in Japan and Jamaica. We matched 204 participants with archived blood from the Miyazaki Cohort Study (Japan) and the Food Handlers Study (Jamaica)-i.e., 51 HTLV-I-positive (“carriers”) and 51 HTLV-I-negative individuals (“non-carriers”) from each population-by age, sex, and blood collection year. We compared plasma concentrations of markers of T-cell-mediated (antigen-specific) and non-specific immunity using regression models and correlation coefficients. Compared to Jamaican HTLV-I non-carriers, Japanese non-carriers had higher covariate-adjusted mean levels of T-cell activation markers, including antibody to Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1 (reciprocal titer 27 v. 71, respectively, p=0.005), soluble interleukin-2 receptor-α (477 v. 623 pg/mL, p=0.0008) and soluble CD30 (34 v. 46 U/mL, p=0.0001), and lower levels of C-reactive protein (1.1 v. 0.43 μg/mL, p=0.0004). HTLV-I infection was associated with activated T-cell immunity in Jamaicans but with diminished T-cell immunity in Japanese persons. The observed population differences in background and HTLV-I-related host immunity correspond closely to the divergent natural histories of infection observed among HTLV-I carriers in Japan and Jamaica and corroborate a role for host immune status in the contrasting patterns of ATL and HAM/TSP risk.
HTLV-I; epidemiology; natural history; host immunity; viral markers
In alcohol dependence, markers of inflammation are associated with increases in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is thought to be a prognostic indicator of alcohol relapse. This study was undertaken to test whether blockade of biologically active tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) normalizes REM sleep in alcohol-dependent adults.
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover trial, 18 abstinent alcohol-dependent male adults received a single dose of etanercept (25 mg) versus placebo in a counterbalanced order. Polysomnographic sleep was measured at baseline and for 3 nights after the acute dose of etanercept or placebo.
Compared with placebo, administration of etanercept produced significant decreases in the amount and percentage of REM sleep. Decreases in REM sleep were robust and approached low levels typically found in age-comparable control subjects. Individual differences in biologically active drug as indexed by circulating levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor II negatively correlated with the percentage of REM sleep.
Pharmacologic neutralization of TNF-α activity is associated with significant reductions in REM sleep in abstinent alcohol-dependent patients. These data suggest that circulating levels of TNF-α may have a physiologic role in the regulation of REM sleep in humans.
Alcohol dependence; cytokine antagonism; inflammation; sleep
Accumulating evidence suggests that sleep disturbance is associated with inflammation and related disorders including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes mellitus. This study was undertaken to test the effects of sleep loss on activation of nuclear factor (NF) -κB, a transcription factor that serves a critical role in the inflammatory signaling cascade.
In 14 healthy adults (7 females; 7 males), peripheral blood mononuclear cell NF-κB was repeatedly assessed, along with enumeration of lymphocyte subpopulations, in the morning after baseline sleep, partial sleep deprivation (awake from 23:00 h to 03:00 h), and recovery sleep.
In the morning after a night of sleep loss, mononuclear cell NF-κB activation was significantly greater compared with morning levels following uninterrupted baseline or recovery sleep, in which the response was found in females but not in males.
These results identify NF-κB activation as a molecular pathway by which sleep disturbance may influence leukocyte inflammatory gene expression and the risk of inflammation-related disease.
Evaluation of cytokine gene expression following in vitro stimulation is one means of examining the dysregulation of the immune system in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We have assessed differences in the immune status of non-HIV-infected (HIV−) and HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals by evaluating the kinetics of the expression of cytokine genes. We compared detailed time courses of cytokine mRNA expression in HIV− and HIV+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and found that there is a significant shift (P < 0.01) for all cytokines examined (interleukin 2 [IL-2], IL-6, IL-10, gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) to an earlier time of mean peak mRNA expression by HIV+ PBMC (between 4 and 8 h) compared to HIV− PBMC (8 h) in response to either phytohemagglutinin (PHA) or anti-CD3 stimulation. Additional studies showed that although PHA-stimulated HIV+ PBMC showed decreased median IL-2, IL-4, and TNF-α mRNA levels, they typically demonstrated more rapid kinetics (increased mean 4-h/24-h cytokine mRNA ratios), with significant differences for IL-4 (P < 0.05) and TNF-α (P < 0.005), compared to HIV− PBMC. The use of fresh or frozen cells gave comparable cytokine mRNA data; however, the secretion of some cytokine proteins (IL-2 receptor, IL-10, and TNF-α) appeared to be reduced in HIV+ PBMC that had been frozen and thawed. Our studies demonstrate that the kinetics of cytokine gene expression can reveal additional dysregulation of the immune system in HIV infection, suggesting that PBMC of HIV-infected persons exist in an activated state in vivo that permits them to express cytokine genes more rapidly than a normal PBMC.
Sequential gene expression of two type 1 cytokines (interleukin 2 [IL-2] and gamma interferon), one type 2 cytokine (IL-10), two monokines (IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha), and one cytokine receptor (IL-2 receptor [IL-2R]) in normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) following in vitro stimulation was investigated by reverse transcription-PCR methods. Two stimuli were utilized: phytohemagglutinin (PHA), which acts on the CD2 molecule and T-cell receptors, and anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, which acts on the CD3 molecule and on T-cell receptors. Increased expression of all studied genes occurred between 1 and 4 hours after stimulation, except for that of the gene encoding IL-10, which was delayed. Expression of all but one of the genes was transient, with a maximal mRNA accumulation at about 8 h on average. IL-2R mRNA expression was an exception, showing a prolonged increase (72 h). The general profiles of expression of the five cytokine genes were similar but not identical, suggesting some shared regulatory mechanisms. When responses to four additional stimuli (pokeweed mitogen, Candida albicans, and IL-2 at high and low doses) were compared, similar profiles of cytokine gene expression were found. Thus, the various stimuli caused induction of all cytokines with quantitative, not qualitative, differences. Altogether, the present data are useful for defining the kinetics of gene expression for key cytokines in response to standard immune-cell stimuli.