The aim of this study was to determine the role of macrophages in the Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans-induced murine immune response. BALB/c mice were given carrageenan solution by intraperitoneal injection before immunisation with heat-killed A. actinomycetemcomitans. Mice immunised with antigens and phosphate-buffered saline served as positive and negative controls, respectively. One week after the last immunisation, the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response was assessed by measurement of footpad swelling. Serum IgG and IgM anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans antibody levels and culture supernate levels of interferon (IFN)-gamma were determined by ELISA. The diameter of abscess formation was determined every 5 days. Sham-immunised spleen cells were transferred to carrageenan-untreated recipients (groups A and B) and to carrageenan-treated recipients (group D). Antigen-immunised spleen cells were transferred to carrageenan-untreated (group C) and carrageenan-treated (group E) recipients. The carrageenan-treated recipients in groups F and G received macrophages from antigen- and sham-immunised mice respectively. All mice except those in group A were immunised with antigen 24 h after cell transfer. After 1 week, a partial suppression of DTH response, reduced levels of IFN-gamma, serum IgG and IgM anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans antibodies and delayed healing were seen in carrageenan-treated mice when compared with the positive control. The immune response to A. actinomycetemcomitans in groups A, B and D was lower than that in groups C and E. Healing of the lesion in the former groups was also delayed when compared with the latter groups. The immune response and the healing of the lesion could be partially restored in carrageenan-treated mice that received antigen-pulsed macrophages (group F) but not in those that received naive macrophages (group G). These results suggest that macrophages play a partial role in the induction of the murine immune response to A. actinomycetemcomitans.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.