Monocytes isolated from human blood by centrifugal elutriation exhibited little ability to ingest rabbit erythrocytes (ER), zymosan particles, or desialated sheep erythrocytes. In contrast, 85 to 95% of these cells rosetted with C3b- or C3bi-bearing sheep erythrocytes (ES) or ingested IgG-coated ES. Preincubation of the monocytes with human lymphocytes increased their ability to ingest ER. the ER phagocytosis-inducing activity was contained in the 105,000 X G supernatant of lymphocyte lysates. These supernatants increased the percentage of ingesting monocytes from 5 to 15% to 80% within 60 min. The soluble factor was found to be relatively heat stable, inactivated by trypsin, and distinct from IFN-gamma. Its m.w. is less than 13,000. It was present in B and T lymphocytes and also in U937 cells. These results suggest that the ability of human monocytes to ingest nonopsonized particulate activators of the alternative complement pathway is a cytokine-inducible property and that the effect of the cytokine on complement receptor- or Fc receptor-dependent adherence or ingestion of opsonized particles is minor.

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