Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that exposure of human monocytes to a stimulant, such as Con A, results in the production of the enzyme collagenase through PGE2-dependent pathway. Inasmuch as rIFN-gamma has been shown to modulate monocyte/macrophage PG synthesis, we examined the effect of rIFN-gamma on the activation sequence leading to collagenase production. The addition of rIFN-gamma (10 to 1000 U/ml) to Con A-stimulated monocytes resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of PGE2 and collagenase synthesis. The suppression of collagenase production by rIFN-gamma was related to its ability to reduce PGE2 levels as demonstrated by the restoration of collagenase activity by the addition of PGE2. HPLC analysis of the arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites released by monocytes showed that rIFN-gamma caused a reduction in the release of AA and products of the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. These data indicated that rIFN-gamma decreased eicosanoid production by inhibiting the release of AA from phospholipids. This conclusion was supported by the reduction in membrane bound phospholipase activity in rIFN-gamma-treated monocytes. Moreover, the inhibition by rIFN-gamma of PGE2 and collagenase was reversed by the addition of phospholipase A2. Our findings demonstrate that rIFN-gamma inhibits phospholipase activity in activated monocytes and as a result blocks PGE2-dependent collagenase synthesis.

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