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Med Mycol. 2001 Dec;39(6):509-15.

Protection of bronchoalveolar macrophages by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor against dexamethasone suppression of fungicidal activity for Aspergillus fumigatus conidia.

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Department of Medicine, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, San Jose, California 95128-2699, USA.


The objectives of this study were to: (i) see if granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) could protect bronchoalveolar macrophages (BAM) against suppression by dexamethasone (DEX) and (ii) test the combined effect of GM-CSF and DEX on lymphocyte responses. Murine BAM killed Aspergillus fumigatus conidia by 33 +/- 4% (mean +/- SD) in a 2.5-h assay, unaffected by GM-CSF treatment. Killing by BAM treated with DEX (10(-7) M) for 48 h in vitro was reduced to 13 +/- 6%; however, if GM-CSF (500 U ml(-1)) was present during DEX treatment of BAM, killing of conidia (33 +/- 2%) by BAM was preserved. By contrast, DEX suppression of lymphocyte responses to concanavalin A was maintained during co-culture with GM-CSF. In sequence treatment experiments, initial treatment of BAM with GM-CSF protected against subsequent treatment with DEX. When macrophages were pretreated with DEX, GM-CSF could reverse suppression even when added subsequently, provided DEX treatment was discontinued. These data suggest that it may be possible to suppress lymphocyte responses with DEX, yet at the same time maintain BAM defenses with GM-CSF against pulmonary infections by conidia of A. fumigatus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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