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Lymphokine Cytokine Res. 1991 Apr;10(1-2):43-50.

The role of macrophages in experimental arthritis induced by Streptococcus agalactiae sonicate: actions of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1) and other macrophage-modulating agents.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Australia.


Intraperitoneal injection of Streptococcus agalactiae sonicated cells into Wistar rats causes a chronic relapsing polyarthritis resembling human rheumatoid arthritis. We report evidence favoring a role for macrophages in the pathology of this disease. S. agalactiae injected ip induced a high level of tumor necrosis factor release by peritoneal macrophages isolated subsequently, and had a similar effect when added to control peritoneal macrophages in culture. Ia antigen was induced on macrophages in both the peritoneum and affected joints following S. agalactiae injection. The role of macrophages in the disease process was studied by treating animals prior to S. agalactiae injection with varying concentrations of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), silica, and carrageenan, agents known to have a biphasic effect on macrophage function. They aggravated the pathology at low doses but prevented the disease at high doses. The most specific alteration of macrophage levels was achieved by injection of recombinant human macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1). Treatment with CSF-1 early in the disease lead to significant worsening of the pathology. Administration of CSF-1 after 2 weeks reactivated the disease and extended the chronic phase. These data in combination with previous findings are consistent with nonimmune, macrophage-mediated pathology for this model of arthritis. The results have implications for therapeutic application of CSF-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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