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Infect Immun. Apr 1993; 61(4): 1468–1473.
PMCID: PMC281387

Gamma interferon cooperates with lipopolysaccharide to activate mouse splenic macrophages to an antihistoplasma state.


Inhibition of the intracellular growth of Histoplasma capsulatum by murine resident red pulp splenic macrophages was examined. Splenic macrophages, unlike resident peritoneal macrophages, required a prolonged preincubation (18 h) with recombinant murine gamma interferon (rMuIFN-gamma) for activation. To be fully activated, the splenic macrophages required incubation with rMuIFN-gamma in combination with 0.1 microgram of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) per ml. Splenic macrophages stimulated with rMuIFN-gamma, LPS, or rMuIFN-gamma and LPS produced tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), but recombinant murine TNF-alpha (rMuTNF-alpha) did not activate macrophages when used alone or as a second signal with rMuIFN-gamma. Anti-TNF-alpha antibody did not block IFN-gamma-LPS activation of splenic macrophages to any significant extent. One hundred micromolar ferrous sulfate antagonized IFN-gamma-LPS activation of splenic macrophages, indicating that iron was involved in the fungistatic activity of cytokine-stimulated phagocytes. Our results indicate that (i) splenic macrophages differ significantly from peritoneal macrophages in their requirements for activation and (ii) the mechanism by which splenic macrophages exert their antifungal effects involves iron.

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