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Clin Exp Immunol. 1994 Jul;97(1):164-71.

The demonstration of an essential role for macrophages in the in vivo generation of IgG2a antibodies.

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Department of Immunology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.


BALB/c mice were depleted of macrophages by intravenous inoculation of dichloromethylene diphosphonate entrapped in liposomes 24 h before primary and 24 h before secondary sensitization intravenously with 100 micrograms bovine serum albumin (BSA) or ovalbumin (OVA). The effectiveness of macrophage depletion was confirmed by immunocytochemistry. Five days and 14 days after secondary challenge with BSA, plasma samples from these and control mice inoculated with empty liposomes were examined for the production of BSA-specific IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies. Macrophage depletion resulted in a significantly increased production of the Th2 lymphocyte-associated IgG1 isotype, while the production of specific IgG2a antibodies, produced under the influence of Th1 cells, was totally ablated. Similar results were obtained when OVA was used as the test antigen. Furthermore, analysis of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) production after antigen or concanavalin A (Con A) restimulation in vitro indicated that macrophage depletion in vivo significantly reduced production of this Th1 cell-associated cytokine. These results provide strong in vivo and in vitro evidence for the macrophage being the antigen-presenting cell population responsible for Th1 cell activation.

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