Necrotic cell death increases the release of macrophage migration inhibitory factor by monocytes/macrophages

Wendy Dankers, Md Abul Hasnat, Vanesa Swann, Arwaf Alharbi, Jacinta P.W. Lee, Megan A. Cristofaro, Michael P. Gantier, Sarah A. Jones, Eric F. Morand, Jacqueline K. Flynn, James Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pleiotropic inflammatory molecule with both cytokine and noncytokine activity. MIF is constitutively released from multiple cell types via an unconventional secretory pathway that is not well defined. Here, we looked at MIF release from human and mouse monocytes/macrophages in response to different stimuli. While MIF release was not significantly altered in response to lipopolysaccharide or heat-killed Escherichia coli, cytotoxic stimuli strongly promoted release of MIF. MIF release was highly upregulated in cells undergoing necrosis, necroptosis and NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent pyroptosis. Our data suggest that cell death represents a major route for MIF release from myeloid cells. The functional significance of these findings and their potential importance in the context of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-790
Number of pages9
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • cytokines
  • inflammasome
  • inflammation
  • necroptosis
  • necrosis
  • pyroptosis

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