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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2005 Winter;6(4):397-407.

A murine model of invasive aspergillosis: variable benefit of interferon-gamma administration under in vitro and in vivo conditions.

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Division of Transplant Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin and Zablocki Veterans Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.



Interferon-gamma modulates host defense in a number of infectious diseases. Previous studies have shown that systemic administration of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) can enhance survival in experimental invasive aspergillosis (IA).


Using a novel model of murine IA that is characterized by primary pulmonary infection, we investigated the role of IFN-gamma in the phagocytosis and killing of Aspergillus fumigatus by murine neutrophils and pulmonary alveolar macrophages in vitro and the impact of systemic and regional administration of IFN-gamma on the course of IA in glucocorticoid-treated mice.


In vitro, IFN-gamma significantly enhanced phagocytosis and killing function of both neutrophils and alveolar macrophages from normal animals, but not cortisone-treated animals. In vivo, intravenous administration of IFN-gamma did not improve phagocyte recruitment, in vivo killing, or mortality from IA. Regional (intranasal) administration of IFN-gamma to the lungs enhanced recruitment of phagocytic cells to the lungs and improved in vivo killing, but did not alter (and actually worsened) mortality from IA.


The in vitro and in vivo effects of IFN-gamma in IA are contingent on many variables, including the route of administration and the specific pathogenesis of infection.

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