Main content area

α-Galactosylceramide Promotes Killing of Listeria monocytogenes within the Macrophage Phagosome through Invariant NKT-Cell Activation

Emoto, Masashi, Yoshida, Tomomi, Fukuda, Toshio, Kawamura, Ikuo, Mitsuyama, Masao, Kita, Eiji, Hurwitz, Robert, Kaufmann, Stefan H.E., Emoto, Yoshiko
Infection and immunity 2010 v.78 no.6 pp. 2667-2676
Listeria monocytogenes, animal models, antibacterial properties, interferon-gamma, intraperitoneal injection, listeriosis, macrophages, mice, neutralization, nitric oxide, pathogens, phagosomes
α-Galactosylceramide (α-GalCer) has been exploited for the treatment of microbial infections. Although amelioration of infection by α-GalCer involves invariant natural killer T (iNKT)-cell activation, it remains to be determined whether macrophages (Mφ) participate in the control of microbial pathogens. In the present study, we examined the participation of Mφ in immune intervention in infection by α-GalCer using a murine model of listeriosis. Phagocytic and bactericidal activities of peritoneal Mφ from C57BL/6 mice, but not iNKT cell-deficient mice, were enhanced after intraperitoneal injection of α-GalCer despite the absence of iNKT cells in the peritoneal cavity. High levels of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and nitric oxide (NO) were detected in the peritoneal cavities of mice treated with α-GalCer and in culture supernatants of peritoneal Mφ from mice treated with α-GalCer, respectively. Although enhanced bactericidal activity of peritoneal Mφ by α-GalCer was abrogated by endogenous IFN-γ neutralization, this was only marginally affected by NO inhibition. Similar results were obtained by using a listeriolysin O-deficient strain of Listeria monocytogenes. Moreover, respiratory burst in Mφ was increased after α-GalCer treatment. Our results suggest that amelioration of listeriosis by α-GalCer is, in part, caused by enhanced killing of L. monocytogenes within phagosomes of Mφ activated by IFN-γ from iNKT cells residing in an organ(s) other than the peritoneal cavity.