We analysed the production of interferons (IFN)-alpha and -gamma during the generation of human influenza-virus specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses using monoclonal antibodies in a specific radioimmunoassay. The results showed that the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM) of all donors tested produced IFN-gamma and had influenza A virus-specific CTL activity after stimulation. The amount of IFN-gamma produced and the level of CTL activity were significantly correlated. The PBM of some donors also produced IFN-alpha. The level of IFN-gamma produced was low during the first few days and increased subsequently, but IFN-alpha, when it was detected, was produced on day 1. The kinetics of the increase in IFN-gamma correlated with the increase in CTL activity. We also observed an increased percentage of cells bearing interleukin-2 receptors, which may have been a response to the production of IFN-gamma. The T cells active in lysing influenza A virus-infected target cells and in producing IFN-gamma were determined after separating effector cells with monoclonal antibodies. The CTL effector cells were mainly in the T8 subset, but IFN-gamma-producing cells were found in both T4 and T8 subsets. These results suggest that influenza virus-specific T8 CTL produce IFN-gamma in response to virus, and that T4 cells which are not CTL effectors also produce IFN-gamma after restimulation with influenza A virus-infected cells.


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