To gain information on the possible biologic role of IL-1R type II (IL-1RII), expression of the 68-kDa IL-1 binding protein on human lymphoblastoid B cells was investigated at single cell level. Binding of iodinated IL-1 beta was evaluated by autoradiography on cytosmears of IL-1RII positive B cell lines RAJI, the RAJI clone 1H7, and STS 25. Results obtained suggest an heterogeneity of IL-1RII expression within the B cell population, with only 5 to 16% of the cells able to bind IL-1 beta. Up-regulation of IL-1RII expression by dexamethasone, evident in conventional binding assays, was achieved through both increase in the number of IL-1 binding cells (14-30%) and augmentation of receptor density on positive cells, By combining autoradiography with immunocytochemical staining, it could be shown that about 80% of IL-1RII + cells were negative for Ki67, a nuclear antigen expressed from late G1 to M phase. Cell cycle dependent expression of IL-1RII was confirmed on cells enriched in different phases of the cell cycle by counterflow centrifugal elutriation. It is thus proposed that IL-1RII is associated to the cell cycle.

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