Orginal Publication Date
MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly
When human leucocytes are artificially stimulated in vivo or in vitro by a bacterial pyrogen, they release, without destroying themselves, a pyrogenic substance that differs chemically and biologically from the original bacterial pyrogen (Snell et al., 1956; Cranston et al., 1956). Although leucocytic pyrogen has not been seen, or at least recognized, by light or phase microscope, a finely granular extracellular material is consistently visible by electron microscope in artificially stimulated leucocyte preparations that we know to be pyrogenic (Goodale, Fillmore, and Hillman, 1962). We are reasonably certain that the granular material is a genuine cellular product in response to the stimulation and, although definite proof is lacking, that it represents, at least in part, leucocytic pyrogen. If the artificially induced granular material does indeed represent leucocytic pyrogen, and if leucocytic pyrogen is responsible for naturally occurring human fevers, it would follow that the same granular material should also be visible in leucocyte preparations from febrile patients with a variety of diseases. The purpose of this study is to report the findings by electron microscope in preparations of human leucocytes that have been "naturally" stimulated in vivo by pathological processes ranging from infections to terminal carcinomas.
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