Bioactivities of a tumour necrosis-like factor released by chicken macrophages

Silke Rautenschlein, Anuradha Subramanian, Jagdev M. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


To test for tumour necrosis-like factor (TNF) of chickens, supernatants of a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated chicken macrophage cell line MQ-NCSU were analysed. A sequence of ion-exchange and gel-permeation chromatography was utilised to isolate TNF-like activity from the culture supernatant. The peak of TNF-like cytotoxic activity corresponded to the fractions with a molecular weight of 81 kDa or higher. Polyclonal anti-human TNF-α antiserum cross-reacted by Western blotting with a 17 kDa protein in the TNF-containing fraction under denaturing conditions. This result indicated that chicken TNF-like factor in the biologically active form may be a protein multimer of monomers of about 17 kDa. The molecular weight of these monomers is similar to the molecular weight of mammalian TNF-α. Chicken TNF-like factor stimulated macrophages by inducing morphological changes, enhancing Ia-expression, nitric oxide (NO) production and by synergising with interferon (IFN)-γ in the induction of NO release from macrophages. The biological activities were not neutralised by anti-human TNF antiserum. These data suggest that LPS-stimulated chicken macrophages produced a functional homologue to mammalian TNF-α. This may be structurally quite different from the mammalian TNF molecule. Other factors may have been co-purified with the chicken TNF-like factor having overlapping functions and molecular weight. However, co-purification of chemokines and interleukin-1, major macrophage derived factors, with the chicken TNF-like factor can be excluded based on the purification strategies. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-640
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological activities
  • Chicken
  • Chromatography
  • In vitro
  • Interferon-γ
  • Macrophages
  • Nitric oxide
  • Tumour necrosis-like factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology


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