1. Supernatant media from cultures of unstimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells contained one or more factors that increased by several hundred-fold the production of prostaglandin E by fibroblast-like cells derived from both inflamed and normal human gingival tissue. 2. This stimulation occurred in a dose-dependent manner and was completely inhibited by 14 microM-indomethacin. 3. Responsiveness to the factor declined as the age of the cell culture increased. 4. An increase in prostaglandin E production was first observed after a 2h exposure to the mononuclear cell factor(s) and could be prevented by cycloheximide. 5. Brief exposure (0.5 and 1.0 h) to mononuclear cell factor did not increase prostaglandin E production by the cells in a subsequent 72 h incubation in the absence of mononuclear cell factor. 6. Addition of arachidonate (10 microM and 15 microM) further enhanced stimulation of prostaglandin E production in response to mononuclear cell factor. 7. The stimulatory activity was resistant to digestion by trypsin, but was heat-labile, so that only 17% remained after treatment at 56 degrees C for 30 min.

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