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Differences in uptake of mycobacteria by human monocytes: a role for complement

Differences in uptake of mycobacteria by human monocytes: a role for complement

Infection and Immunity 56(9): 2223-2227

We investigated the influence of serum factors on the uptake of various species of mycobacteria by human peripheral blood monocytes (PBM). On the basis of the percentage of PBM involved during in vitro uptake, the mycobacteria were of two distinct groups. The mycobacteria of one group, which consisted of Mycobacterium avium complex and M. chelonge, were taken up by many PBM; the other group, consisting of M. tuberculosis, M. kansasii, M. fortuitum, and M. gordonae, were taken up by fewer PBM. M. scrofulaceum was intermediate to these two groups on the basis of its uptake by PBM. Serum depleted of complement by heating or treatment with cobra venom factor significantly reduced the extent of PBM involvement with M. avian complex, indicating that complement is an important serum component mediating the uptake of M. avian complex organisms. Preincubation of mycobacteria with serum containing 10 mM EGTA [ethylene glycol-bis(.beta.-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid] and 10 mM MgCl2 resulted in uptake by a high percentage of PBM, while preincubation in heated serum or serum containing 10 mM EDTA resulted in a significantly reduced percentage of PBM involved in uptake of M. avium complex organisms, indicating that these organisms are activators of the alternative pathways of complement. Incubation of M. avian complex organisms in human serum consumed 50% of the hemolytic complement activity. Parallel experiments indicated that serum had a lesser extent on the uptake of M. tuberculosis. Thus, serum is important in in vitro M. avium complex uptake by PBM; complement has a major role in the effect of serum, but this role is less important with M. tuberculosis.

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Accession: 005151719

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PMID: 3137162

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