Activation of macrophages from aging mice by detoxified lipid A

Y. Chen, L. Solem, Arthur G Johnson

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A detoxified derivative of endotoxic lipopolysaccharides (LPS), monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), which is capable of inducing nonspecific resistance against several infectious organisms, was tested for its capacity to activate peritoneal macrophages (MΦ) from young and immunodeficient aging BALB/c and C3H/HeN mice. Superoxide generation and hydrogen peroxide release by MΦ from aging mice were elevated following intraperitoneal injection with 25 μg of LPS or MPL, although they did not reach the peak levels achieved in LPS or MPL-treated young mice. Nitroblue tetrazolium reduction (NBT) by peritoneal MΦ from aging C3H/HeN mice treated with MPL was higher than that in control aging mice, equalling that from MPL-treated young mice. LPS, its toxic counterpart, however, failed to increase NBT reduction in either group. MPL enhanced lysozyme activity in MΦ from both aging and young C3H/HeN mice above initial control levels. On the other hand, LPS suppressed lysozyme activity in MΦ from young, but not aging mice. Phagocytosis of Candida albicans by MΦ from BALB/c mice was increased in both groups when stimulated by MPL, but not LPS. Similarly, MPL enhanced the ability to kill Candida in both aging and young BALB/c mice. This effect was not seen with LPS. Thus, a detoxified derivative of LPS was found capable of activating the respiratory burst, NBT reduction, elevating lysozyme activity, as well as phagocytosis and killing of Candida in murine peritoneal MΦ from both young and aging mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-422
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • lipopolysaccharide
  • monophosphoryl lipid A
  • respiratory burst

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