We investigated the ability of cyclosporin A (CsA) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) to modulate the production of TNF-alpha and TNF-beta and IFN-gamma by unseparated, nonadherent, and adherent PBMC. Treatment of unseparated PBMC with CsA resulted in a significant dose-dependent inhibition of all three cytokines ranging from greater than 90% inhibition for IFN-gamma and TNF-beta, to approximately 70% for TNF-alpha. Pretreatment of unseparated or nonadherent PBMC with TGF-beta inhibited the production of IFN-gamma by 60-70%. However, the inhibition of TNF-alpha and TNF-beta production by these cells was only minimally affected, and at 0.1-1 ng/ml TGF-beta could enhance TNF-alpha production by unseparated PBMC. In contrast, pretreatment of adherent PBMC with TGF-beta inhibited the production of TNF-alpha by approximately 60%. TGF-beta also inhibited both TNF-alpha production and tumor cell cytotoxicity mediated by murine peritoneal-derived macrophages. These observations indicate that the biological effects of CsA and TGF-beta on immune functions are of a wider range than previously reported.

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