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Cell J. 2013 Spring;15(1):45-54. Epub 2013 May 5.

Comparative study of the effect of LPS on the function of BALB/c and C57BL/6 peritoneal macrophages.

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1. Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.



Macrophages influence their environment and surrounding immune cells as soon as stimulators affect them. Different sources of macrophages induce different reactions in their neighboring immune cells,which result in non-uniform immunologic outcomes. In this experimental research, we compare the behavior of peritoneal macrophages to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation from BALB/cmice as an indicator of a type 2 immune response and from C57BL/6 mice as an indicator of a type 1 immune response.


In this experimental study, peritoneal macrophages prepared from thioglycolate stimulated BALB/c and C57BL/6 micewere treated with 1µg/ml LPS. At different time points after LPS treatment, nitric oxide (NO), interferon gamma (IFN-λ), interleukin 4 (IL-4),transforming growth factor β1(TGF-β1), interleukin 17 (IL-17), and interleukin 10(IL-10) production were measured in the supernatants of all macrophage cultures. Indoleamine 2, 3 dioxygenase (IDO) and phagocytic activitywere analyzed in the different experimental groups. The supernatant effects of LPS-treated macrophages on splenocyte proliferation was assessed by the colorimetric method using a 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol- 2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reagent.


According to cytokine analysis, different mouse strains show different cytokine patterns in response to LPS. C57BL/6 macrophages produced more IL-17, IL-10, and IFN-λ, while BALB/c macrophages produced more TGF-β1 and IL-4. There was no significant difference in IDO activity between strains (p≤0.05). BALB/c mice produced more NO inthe first 24 hours after LPS treatment,but C57BL/6 produced more NO at 72 hours post-LPS treatment. Macrophages from both strains hada suppressor effect on splenocyte proliferation, but this effect was stronger in BALB/c mice.


The results show that macrophages from different genetic backgrounds respond differently to the same stimulus in aspects of type, intensity, and time of response. The consideration of these aspects will enableresearchers to use correct treatment programs for immune-regulation or immunotherapy.


BALB/c; C57BL/6; LPS; Macrophage; Thioglycolate


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