Interferon-gamma Induced Resistance to Legionella Pneumophila in Susceptible A/J Mouse Macrophages.

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Legionella pneumophila (Lp) grow in cultures in human, guinea pig, and mouse macrophages from A/J strain mice. Because exudate macrophages from this strain of mice have been reported deficient in responsiveness to lymphokines, we thought it of interest to document the extent of responsiveness to interferon-gamma in the context of growth restriction of Lp. Peritoneal exudate macrophages were obtained from A/J mice and cultured in either the presence or absence of recombinant interferon-gamma. These cultures were then infected with Lp and the extent of bacterial growth estimated 48 hr later by means of a colony-forming unit (CFU) assay and electron microscopy. Interferon-gamma treatment significantly restricted the number of CFUs in the culture at concentrations as low as 20 U/ml, but did not affect the uptake of bacteria by macrophages. Furthermore, treatment with interferon induced morphological changes consistent with activated macrophages. The involvement of oxygen-dependent mechanisms in phagocyte killing and growth restriction was examined by the use of inhibitors such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase. Neither one of these inhibitors of toxic oxygen metabolites affected the interferon-gamma-induced suppression of Lp growth. These results suggest that although thioglycolate-induced exudate macrophages from A/J mice support the growth of Lp, these cells readily respond to the activating influence of interferon-gamma. Furthermore, lymphokine treatment does not inhibit Lp uptake by macrophages and apparently restricts the growth of bacteria by mechanisms independent of the activity of toxic oxygen metabolites.

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Journal of Leukocyte Biology





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This article was published in Journal of Leukocyte Biology, Volume 49, Issue 1, Pages 98-103.

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Copyright © 1991.

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