This study was designed to determine if sodium metaperiodate (NaIO4)-treated lymphocytes secrete lymphokines and if these lymphokines are similar to those obtained from mitogen- or antigen-stimulated lymphocytes. A brief exposure of CBA spleen cells to NaIO4 induced the secretion of significant amounts of migration inhibitory factor (MIF). This MIF had a molecular weight range between 30,000 and 58,000, and was stable when heated at 56 °C for 30 min, but unstable at 80 °C. These characteristics are similar to those previously reported for mitogen- and antigen-induced MIF. In addition, NaIO4 induced the secretion of lymphotoxin (LT) from CBA and Balb/c spleen cells, as well as from guinea pig lymph node cells. NaIO4 was compared to the other inducers in regard to the quantity of LT secreted. Supernatant derived from NaIO4-treated mouse spleen cells contained less LT than supernatants derived from concanavalin A- or phytohemagglutinin-treated cells, but contained more activity than those supernatants derived from lipopolysaccharide-treated cells. CBA spleen cells secreted significantly more LT than Balb/c spleen cells after NaIO4 stimulation. NaIO4-stimulated CBA spleen cells secreted LT in cultures with or without serum, but stimulated Balb/c spleen cells secreted LT only in serum-containing cultures. The advantages of NaIO4 as an inducer of lymphokines, as opposed to other mitogens or antigens, is the brief exposure of this agent to the cells after which the NaIO4 is removed, and the lymphokines can be obtained free from the inducer.
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