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Pharmacotherapy. 1994 Jan-Feb;14(1):100-4.

Accumulation of clarithromycin in macrophages infected with Mycobacterium avium.

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Department of Medicine, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver, Colorado 80206.


Clarithromycin is known to accumulate in polymorphonuclear leukocytes, but no accumulation studies with macrophages have been reported. We exposed J774 macrophages, grown for 4-6 days, to clarithromycin 3.0 micrograms/ml for 2 hours. The cells were separated from the extracellular fluid, and the concentration of clarithromycin was determined in an agar diffusion bioassay. The accumulation of clarithromycin was 15.8-fold greater in the cells than it was in the extracellular fluid when the test was performed with noninfected cells, and 17.3-fold greater for cells infected with Mycobacterium avium. However, the ratio was substantially lower, only 3.7 for dead macrophages, suggesting that intracellular accumulation is probably an active process. These data may clarify the nature of the activity of clarithromycin against M. avium in macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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