Complement-dependent killing of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infective larvae by rat alveolar macrophages.
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Histopathological studies have provided circumstantial evidence that helminth parasite destruction occurs in the lung; however controlled in vitro studies on the helminthocidal activity of lung cells have not been reported. This study presents evidence that Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection in the rat induces alterations in broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) cell numbers, differential counts, and in vitro helminthocidal activity. Normal, uninfected rats yielded 3.3 +/- 0.6 X 10(6) BAL cells/rat, consisting predominantly of alveolar macrophages (greater than 90%). However on days 2-8 post-infection there was a 1.5-2.4-fold increase in BAL cell numbers with a significant neutrophilia on day 2 and a significant increase in the absolute number of all cell types on day 8. On day 32 post-infection, BAL cell numbers had returned to control levels. Normal BAL cells neither adhered to nor killed N. brasiliensis infective larvae (L3) in the presence of rat complement. By contrast BAL cells recovered from infected rats on days, 2, 8 or 32 post-infection (D2, D8 and D32 BAL cells, respectively) adhered under similar conditions. However, only D8 and D32 BAL cells killed L3. This complement-dependent killing correlated with significantly increased numbers of C3 receptor bearing alveolar macrophages in D8 and D32 BAL cells. Complement-dependent alveolar macrophage helminthocidal activity may therefore play an important role in lung resistance against resident or migrating helminths.
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