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Int Immunopharmacol. 2003 Jun;3(6):825-34.

Defense mechanisms of IFN-gamma and LPS-primed murine microglia against Acanthamoeba castellanii infection.

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Section of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Department of Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Second University of the Studies of Naples, Naples, Italy.


In the central nervous system (CNS), cytokine-primed microglia play a central role in host's defense against Acanthamoeba castellanii infection. In this study, the effect of recombinant interferon (rIFN)-gamma and Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis lipopolysaccharide (LPS), both inflammatory stimuli, on A. castellanii infection in murine microglia was examined. Priming of microglia with rIFN-gamma and LPS synergistically triggered, in a dose-dependent manner, amebastatic activity in these cells. More than 52%, 88% or 95% of this function was then abrogated by anti-IL-1beta (but not anti-IL-1alpha), IL-6 or TNF-alpha neutralizing antibodies, suggesting that these endogenously produced cytokines may participate in the antimicrobial capacity. Consistent with these findings, the priming of microglia with rIFN-gamma and LPS elicited the release of proinflammatory interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Since L-canavanine affected amebastatic activity only during the priming process but not during the infection process, NO-dependent pathway appears to be not the sole antiparasitic mechanism involved in this function. These data suggest that rIFN-gamma and LPS, likely through a proinflammatory network, up-regulate the release of IL-beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, which could trigger antimicrobial activity against A. castellanii infection in the brain.

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