Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
In this study we tested the hypothesis that after administration of a single intraperitoneal dose of concanavalin A (Con-A) to mice, the proportion of neutrophils and macrophages in the peritoneal exudate and their phagocytic and candidacidal activities should change with time. The number of neutrophils in the peritoneal exudate was greatly increased 6 h after administration of Con-A, and those cells were able to kill both intracellular and extracellular yeast and germ tube forms of Candida albicans. Addition of catalase to the culture medium reduced the killing of C. albicans, suggesting that the candidacidal activity depended on the myeloperoxidase system. The survival of mice pretreated with Con-A and submitted to an inoculum of C. albicans 6 h afterwards was twice higher than that of controls, which suggests that neutrophils were able to clear the experimental infection. One day after the treatment, the population of neutrophils in the exudate was about 45%, but after 2 days it was reduced to only 5% and the candidacidal activity was also reduced. After 4 days the exudate contained over 95% of macrophages, the candidacidal activity reached a maximum, and the phagocytosis mediated by both complement receptors and mannose receptors was increased. Uptake of FITC–mannose–BSA by macrophages was maximal on about the 4th day and was inhibited by mannan, suggesting that treatment with Con-A increased the activity of mannose receptors. These results support the hypothesis that activation of cellular immunity by Con-A occurred in two phases, one dominated by neutrophils, and the other by macrophages expressing increased activity of mannose receptors.
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