Incubation of several human tumor cell lines with human interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) increased the specific binding of subsequently added 125I-labeled recombinant human tumor necrosis factor (TNF). A similar increase in TNF binding was seen in murine L929 cells after incubation with murine IFN-gamma, but not after incubation with human IFN-gamma. Increased TNF binding to cells incubated with IFN-gamma was due to an increase in the number of TNF receptors, with no demonstrable change in binding affinity. In one out of two human cell lines tested, IFN-alpha and IFN-beta also produced increased TNF binding, albeit with a lower efficacy than IFN-gamma. A maximal increase in TNF binding was seen after about 6 to 12 hr of incubation with IFN. Increased TNF binding due to enhanced TNF receptor expression may contribute to the enhancement of TNF cytotoxicity seen in some tumor cell lines after INF treatment. Modulation of TNF receptor expression by IFN may also influence other biological activities of TNF.

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