Specific amino acid (L-arginine) requirement for the microbiostatic activity of murine macrophages.
The microbiostatic action of macrophages was studied in vitro employing peritoneal cytotoxic macrophages (CM) from mice acting against Cryptococcus neoformans cultured in Dulbecco's medium with 10% dialyzed fetal bovine serum. Fungistasis was measured using electronic particle counting after lysis of macrophages with detergent. Macrophage fungistasis failed in medium lacking only L-arginine. Complete fungistasis was restored by L-arginine; restoration was concentration dependent, maximal at 200 microM. Deletion of all other essential amino acids did not abrogate fungistasis provided that L-arginine was present. Of twenty guanido compounds, including D-arginine, only three (L-arginine, L-homoarginine, and L-arginine methylester) supported fungistasis. Known activators or mediators of macrophage cytotoxicity (endotoxin, interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor) did not replace L-arginine for CM-mediated fungistasis. The guanido analogue NG-monomethyl-L-arginine was a potent competitive inhibitor of CM-mediated fungistasis giving 50% inhibition at an inhibitor/L-arginine ratio of 1:27. Although CM completely blocked fungal reproduction via an L-arginine-dependent mechanism, the majority of the dormant fungi remained viable. Thus, this mechanism is viewed as a microbiostatic process similar or identical to the tumoristatic effect of macrophages. This suggests the production of a broad spectrum biostatic metabolite(s) upon consumption of L-arginine by cytotoxic macrophages.
Granger, DL; Hibbs, JB; Perfect, JR; Durack, DT
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