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Infection. 1983 May-Jun;11(3):137-43.

The influence of bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins on the phagocytic activity of human macrophages in culture.


The effect of bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins on phagocytosis was tested on human macrophages in monolayer cultures by determining the rate of zymosan particle ingestion at different toxin concentrations and incubation times. The exotoxins tested were staphylococcal alpha-toxin and diphtheria-toxin. The endotoxins used were lipopolysaccharides from Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella flexneri and Serratia marcescens. Phagocytosis was significantly impaired after prolonged incubation with diphtheria toxin whereas alpha-toxin was ineffective. Endotoxin-treated macrophages showed a wide range of phagocytic activity. Enhancement of phagocytosis was observed with a low concentration of endotoxin (1 microgram/ml) from S. typhi, S. typhimurium and S. flexneri. Higher concentrations (2.5 and 5 micrograms/ml) depressed phagocytosis to varying extents, except for S. typhi lipopolysaccharide, which did not induce a significant decrease in phagocytosis in comparison to the controls.

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