Although Toxoplasma gondii multiplies within normal murine alveolar and peritoneal macrophages, it is killed by normal rat alveolar and peritoneal macrophages. The killing by rat macrophages is by a nonoxidative mechanism. Studies on normal human alveolar macrophages have reported disparate results in regard to their ability to inhibit or kill T. gondii. We considered it of interest to explore further the effect of normal human alveolar and peritoneal macrophages on T. gondii. Unstimulated alveolar macrophages from each of seven individuals demonstrated a marked ability to kill or inhibit multiplication of T. gondii in vitro (e.g., the number of parasites per 100 alveolar macrophages was 31 at time zero and 2 at 18 h, whereas this value increased from 37 at time zero to 183 at 18 h in murine macrophages assayed in parallel). In quantitative assays of superoxide, alveolar macrophages released a substantial amount of superoxide when exposed to phorbol myristate acetate or to candidae. In contrast, alveolar macrophages incubated with T. gondii released no more superoxide than when in medium alone. Scavengers of superoxide anions, hydrogen peroxide, singlet oxygen, and hydroxyl radicals failed to inhibit killing of T. gondii by alveolar macrophages. Peritoneal macrophages from each of six normal women undergoing laparoscopy killed T. gondii in vitro; results of quantitative superoxide assays and scavenger experiments demonstrated that no oxidative burst was triggered in these macrophages by exposure to T. gondii. These data indicate that normal human alveolar and peritoneal macrophages can kill an intracellular parasite by nonoxidative mechanisms and suggest that these mechanisms are important in inhibition or killing of other opportunistic intracellular pathogens.
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View details for PubMedID 3036709
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC260570