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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1996 Dec;15(6):711-5.

Interferon-gamma reduces the capacity of human alveolar macrophages to inhibit growth of Cryptococcus neoformans in vitro.

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Pulmonary Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


Cytokine stimulation of mouse and rat macrophages has previously been shown to enhance their capacity to phagocytose and inhibit the growth of Cryptococcus neoformans. To extend these observations to primary human macrophages, we investigated the anticryptococcal activity of human alveolar macrophages stimulated with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), or macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF). Neither TNF-alpha nor M-CSF had any effect on fungal growth inhibition compared with unstimulated macrophages. Alveolar macrophages stimulated with IFN-gamma demonstrated reduced fungistasis for C. neoformans compared with controls (49% +/- 15% versus 75% +/- 12%; mean % growth inhibition +/- SD, P < 0.001). Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used to assess binding and phagocytosis of yeast. No difference was observed between unstimulated macrophages and macrophages stimulated with any of the cytokines tested. These data suggest that the cytokine regulation of anticryptococcal macrophage functions in humans differs from the rat and mouse. Conclusions drawn from these models may not necessarily be applicable to human cryptococcosis. In particular, the effects of IFN-gamma on the interaction of human alveolar macrophages with C. neoformans was not predicted based on the mouse and rat macrophage responses.

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