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J Clin Invest. 1990 Feb;85(2):563-9.

Regulation of macrophage function by interferon-gamma. Somatic cell genetic approaches in murine macrophage cell lines to mechanisms of growth inhibition, the oxidative burst, and expression of the chronic granulomatous disease gene.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Invest 1990 Jun;85(6):2029.


The importance of oxidative cytocidal mechanisms of phagocytic cells in immune protection against microbial pathogens is uniquely revealed by chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), a genetic deficiency disease of man. This cytocidal response in mononuclear phagocytes is principally regulated by IFN-gamma. A somatic cell genetic approach was taken to select oxidative variants from a cloned murine macrophage cell line, J774.16, which formally permitted us to dissociate three regulatory effects of IFN-gamma on these cells: the antiproliferative effect, the antiviral effect, and production of superoxide anion. Half of the variants defective in O-2 production after phorbol myristate acetate stimulation were also resistant to the antiproliferative effects of IFN-gamma. This result suggests that IFN-gamma-induced growth inhibition and production of cytocidal oxygen intermediates are mediated via a common pathway. The somatic cell genetic approach has allowed us to develop in vitro macrophage models for several forms of CGD. One variant characterized in detail, D9, was unable to produce superoxide after stimulation by phorbol esters. At the molecular level, Northern blot analysis revealed that the mRNA encoding the large subunit of the putative CGD gene product, cytochrome b558, was absent in this variant. Another class of variants constitutively unable to produce O-2 or the cytochrome b558 mRNA could be induced to do so by IFN-gamma. These somatic mutants may be useful models in clarifying the role of the CGD gene product and its regulation in the production of cytocidal oxygen intermediates.

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