BACKGROUND: Normal mice are naturally resistant to hepatic abscesses produced by Listeria monocytogenes. A macrophage-activation inhibitor factor (MAIF) isolated from the cell-free ascitic fluid of L5178Y lymphoma-bearing mice inhibited the lipopolysaccharide-induced production of nitric oxide (NO) by the macrophages. Because macrophages are also involved in the immune response towards L. monocytogenes, the present study had the objective of investigating whether MAIF was also capable of allowing L. monocytogenes to form hepatic abscesses.
METHODS: BALC/c mice were inoculated intrahepatically with 5 x 10(5) bacteria. Experimental groups were treated daily with subcutaneous or intraperitoneal doses of 0, 1, 5 or 10 microg of MAIF/g of body weight. One dose was applied before inoculating bacteria and the remaining three doses 24, 48, and 72 h after inoculating bacteria. The development of hepatic abscess was analyzed 24 h after the last administration of MAIF.
RESULTS: All treated mice (but not controls) developed hepatic abscess showing no differences regarding MAIF administration route.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest a possible MAIF in vivo inhibition of NO macrophage production that allows L. monocytogenes hepatic abscess development in mice.
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