Circadian rhythmicity of interferon-gamma production in antigen-stimulated whole blood

N. Petrovsky, P. McNair, L. C. Harrison

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, assessment of T cell function has been refined by the ability to measure cytokines produced by activated T cells. We developed a whole blood assay to detect antigen-activated T cells that produce IFN-γ. With this assay we have found a large circadian variation in tetanus-(acrophase 0000 p < 0.001) and PPD- (acrophase 0008 p < 0.001) stimulated IFN-γ production. IFN-γ production is inversely correlated with plasma cortisol (r = -0.5), suggesting that variation in IFN-γ production may be secondary to circadian variation in plasma cortisol levels (acrophase 1106). The demonstration of circadian rhythmicity in antigen-stimulated IFN-γ production is relevant to the diagnostic use of whole blood assays and, in addition, may have implications for the therapy of immuno-inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • blood
  • circadian
  • cortisol
  • immunity
  • interferon-gamma


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