The production of urea and ornithine is increased greatly in spleen cell cultures of an allograft recipient in the presence of donor cells (secondary MLC) in comparison to that of primary MLC (without previous allograft). This phenomenon appears after 24 hr of culture and reaches its maximum at 48 hr. The greatest increase in urea production is observed when the recipient spleen cells are collected at the time of allograft rejection. To obtain this extra production of urea, the stimulating cells in MLC should specifically be of the donor type or at least bear one homology with donor cells at the K or D locus. The increased production of urea and ornithine during MLC results from the action of a lymphokine released by recipient cells in the presence of donor cells. This factor acts upon cells present in bone marrow, spleen, and elicited peritoneal cells but is absent or is present in smaller quantities in thymus and lymph node cells. Target cells of this factor possess numerous macrophage features and could be immature cells of the macrophage line. The lymphokine responsible for this phenomenon is heat-stable, destroyed by trypsin, chymotrypsin, and neuraminidase, and has a m.w. around 32,000. It acts upon its target cells by increasing arginase activity, which results in the production of a large amount of ornithine, an important precursor of polyamine biosynthesis.

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