IFN-gamma-induced L-arginine-dependent toxoplasmastatic activity in murine peritoneal macrophages is mediated by endogenous tumor necrosis factor-alpha

Author(s): Langermans JA, Van der Hulst ME, Nibbering PH, Hiemstra PS, Fransen L, et al.


Activated murine peritoneal macrophages inhibit the intracellular proliferation of Toxoplasma gondii and produce a number of cytokines, such as TNF-alpha and IL-1. Both TNF-alpha and IL-1 have been reported to be involved in the immune response against various microorganisms, but the mechanisms responsible for these effects are not known. In the present study it was investigated whether endogenously produced TNF-alpha and IL-1 are involved in the activation of peritoneal macrophages by rIFN-gamma leading to toxoplasmastatic activity and the production of reactive nitrogen intermediates. The rIFN-gamma-induced toxoplasmastatic activity was inhibited by neutralizing antibodies against mouse TNF-alpha in a dose-dependent and time-dependent way, but neutralizing antibodies against mouse IL-1 alpha and IL-1 beta did not affect this activity. Involvement of TNF-alpha in the induction of toxoplasmastatic activity was confirmed by our finding that rTNF-alpha in combination with a nonactivating concentration of rIFN-gamma inhibited the intracellular proliferation of T. gondii. No synergistic activity of rIL-1 and rIFN-gamma on the inhibition of T. gondii proliferation was found. Both rTNF-alpha and rIL-1 alpha alone inhibited the intracellular proliferation of T. gondii only slightly. Because it has been reported recently that activated macrophages produce reactive nitrogen intermediates that are essential in the induction of toxoplasmastatic activity, we investigated whether these intermediates are involved in the TNF-dependent induction of toxoplasmastatic activity. Neutralizing antibodies against mouse TNF-alpha inhibited also the release of NO2- by rIFN-gamma-activated macrophages almost completely. Macrophages incubated with rTNF-alpha in combination with a nonactivating concentration of rIFN-gamma released substantial amounts of NO2-, but rTNF-alpha and rIL-1 alpha alone, and the combination of rIL-1 alpha and a nonactivating concentration of rIFN-gamma induced only little NO2(-)-release by macrophages. To assess whether reactive nitrogen intermediates act directly or indirectly on the intracellular proliferation of T. gondii, macrophages were incubated with the L-arginine analog NG-monomethyl-L-arginine or the NADPH-inhibitor diphenylene iodonium, both inhibitors of the generation of reactive nitrogen intermediates. Good correlation was found between toxoplasmastatic activity and the release of NO2- during the 24-h activation period before infection of the macrophages with T. gondii, but no correlation was found between toxoplasmastatic activity and the release of NO2- during infection of the macrophages.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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