Activation of tissue macrophages from aids patients: In vitro response of aids alveolar macrophages to lymphokines and interferon-γ
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
To test the hypothesis that tissue macrophages from AIDS patients have no intrinsic defects in either antimicrobial activity or in the capacity to respond to T cell-derived activating stimuli, alveolar macrophages from 11 patients were treated with crude lymphokines produced by healthy donors. After 72 hr of pretreatment with 10% mitogen- or antigen-induced crude lymphokines (which contained 300 U/ml of interferon-gamma [IFN-gamma]), AIDS alveolar macrophages generated twofold to threefold more H2O2 and readily inhibited the replication of the intracellular pathogens Toxoplasma gondii and Chlamydia psittaci. These responses were indistinguishable from those displayed by activated alveolar cells from 12 non-AIDS patients and three healthy volunteers. As judged by the abrogating effects of a neutralizing anti-human IFN-gamma monoclonal antibody, lymphokine-induced alveolar macrophage activation appeared to be largely IFN-gamma-dependent; thus, macrophages were also stimulated with recombinant (r)IFN-gamma alone. Seventy-two hours of treatment with 300 U/ml of rIFN-gamma resulted in both enhanced oxidative and antimicrobial activity comparable to that achieved by crude lymphokines, and the responsiveness of AIDS alveolar macrophages to rIFN-gamma was identical to control cells. These in vitro results suggest that tissue mononuclear phagocytes from AIDS patients a) are free of apparent defects in intracellular antimicrobial activity, b) are fully responsive to activating T cell products, and c) support the use of IFN-gamma as a potential macrophage-activating immunotherapeutic agent in AIDS-related opportunistic infections.