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Comparison of Peritoneal Macrophages from Germfree and Conventional Mice

By Berit Mørland, Alf I. Smievoll and Tore Midtvedt


Morphology, lysosomal enzyme activities, and phagocytosis via immunological receptors were tested in peritoneal macrophages from germfree and conventional mice. Nonstimulated macrophages from germfree mice showed less spreading and were more easily detached when seeded on glass than conventional macrophages. The activities of the lysosomal acid phosphatase and cathepsin D were similar in the two cell groups, whereas β-glucuronidase showed higher activity in macrophages from germfree mice. F(c) receptor-mediated phagocytosis of opsonized sheep erythrocytes was equally effective in germfree and conventional macrophages, and both cell types attached but did not internalize erythrocytes via the C(3)b receptor. Intraperitoneal injections of mineral oil caused a significantly higher influx of macrophages in conventional mice than in germfree mice, whereas the influx of polymorphonuclear cells was enhanced in both animals. Stimulation in vivo with oil or Escherichia coli endotoxin increased cell size, spreading ability, membrane ruffling, and lysosomal enzyme activities in macrophages from both conventional and germfree mice. The Fc-mediated phagocytosis was not influenced by stimulation, whereas the capacity to internalize via C(3)b receptor was triggered in macrophages from conventional mice, but not in corresponding cells from germfree mice. Similar results were obtained after stimulation with endotoxin in vitro. Culture in fetal calf serum for 72 h caused intracellular rises in all three enzyme activities tested in macrophages from conventional mice, whereas only the activity of acid phosphatase was increased in macrophages from germfree mice. Stimulation with zymosan in vitro caused selective release of lysosomal enzyme activity in macrophages from both animal groups. We conclude that peritoneal macrophages from germfree mice share several properties with cells from conventional mice, however, unstimulated β-glucuronidase activity was increased, whereas spreading on glass, chemotactic response, in vitro induction of lysosomal enzymes, and the capacity to internalize via the C(3)b receptor after stimulation were reduced or absent

Topics: Immunology
Year: 1979
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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