The amount of interferon obtained from a given number of human leukocytes is limited by the fact that synthesis occurs for only 8 to 10 hr after induction by Sendai virus, and the cells are then refractory to further stimulation (Strander & Cantell, 1967). The factors which limit interferon synthesis and control development of the refractory state are not understood. This paper describes the effect on both the final yield and the kinetics of interferon production of adjusting conditions of incubation such as pH and temperature, and of priming with virus or interferon before induction.

The procedures used in purification of leukocytes and production of interferon have been published in detail (Strander & Cantell, 1966, 1967). The cells were suspended in Eagle's minimal essential medium (MEM) buffered with 3 mg./ml. of N-tris(hydroxymethyl)methyl glycine (Tricine, obtained from Calbiochem, Los Angeles, California) instead of phosphate, and the suspensions were supplemented with 5% inactivated (30 min. at 56°) human serum.


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