Suppression of immune response to Listeria monocytogenes: Mechanism(s) of immune complex suppression

H. W. Virgin IV, G. F. Wittenberg, G. J. Bancroft, E. R. Unanue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have investigated possible mechanisms underlying immune complex suppression of resistance to Listeria monocytogenes. Inhibition of resistance was found when immune complexes were formed in vivo in immune mice or in nonimmune mice adoptively transferred with specific antibody. Suppression was also found when nonimmune mice were injected with immune complexes preformed in vitro. We investigated the role of complement by decomplementing mice with cobra venom factor purified by high-pressure liquid chromatography. Complete depletion of serum C3 did not eliminate immune complex suppression of resistance to L. monocytogenes, suggesting that complement activation is not required for immune complex suppression. Infection-induced changes in the surface phenotype and functional properties of macrophages from normal and immune complex-suppressed mice were also investigated. Macrophage expression of both H-2K and Ia molecules increased during the response of normal mice to L. monocytogenes. However, these changes were not found in immune complex-suppressed mice. In contrast, membrane interleukin 1 expression was increased in macrophages from suppressed mice compared with macrophages from normal mice. Macrophages from L. monocytogenes-infected normal and immune complex-suppressed mice expressed cytotoxicity against tumor cells in vitro. We conclude that immune complexes do not inhibit resistance to L. monocytogenes by activation of complement or decreasing macrophage cytotoxic activity. Rather, defects in Ia expression by macrophages from suppressed mice might be one component responsible for immune complex suppression of resistance to L. monocytogenes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-353
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1985

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