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Int Rev Cytol. 1995;161:263-331.

Bacterial stimulators of macrophages.

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Institut für Immunobiologie, Universität, Freiburg, Germany.


Our current understanding of the interaction between bacteria and macrophages, cells of the immune system that play a major role in the defense against infection, is summarized. Cell-surface structures of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria that account for these interactions are described in detail. Besides surface structures, soluble bacterial molecules, toxins that are derived from pathogenic bacteria, are also shown to modulate macrophage functions. In order to affect macrophage functions, bacterial surface structures have to be recognized by the macrophage and toxins have to be taken up. Subsequently, signal transduction mechanisms are initiated that enable the macrophage to respond to the invading bacteria. To destroy bacteria, macrophages employ many strategies, among which antigen processing and presentation to T cells, phagocytosis, chemotaxis, and different bactericidal mechanisms are considered to be the main weapons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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