Fever not explained by infection may occur in patients with malignant lymphoma presumably caused by a release of endogenous pyrogen. Although pyrogen has been found in some tumors with a mixed cell population, production of endogenous pyrogen by the neoplastic cells has not been demonstrated. This report documents the apparently spontaneous synthesis and release of such pyrogen by two human tumor cell lines derived from patients with Hodgkin's disease and histiocytic lymphoma. The endogenous pyrogen from the two cell lines was similar and closely resembled that produced by normal human monocytes in antigenic properties as well as heat and pronase sensitivity. The Hodgkin's disease and histiocytic lymphoma cell lines do not require specific stimulation for the production of endogenous pyrogen suggesting that the mechanism of pyrogen release by neoplastic macrophage-related cells differs from that of normal phagocytic cells. The tumor-associated fever in some patients with malignant lymphoma may be caused by a release of endogenous pyrogen by proliferating neoplastic cells.


P Bodel, P Ralph, K Wenc, J C Long


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