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Phagocytosis of Cryptococcus neoformans by normal and thioglycolate-activated macrophages.

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Abstract

Phagocytosis of Cryptococcus neoformans by normal and thioglycolate-activated mouse peritoneal macrophages was studied. Thioglycolate-activated macrophages exhibited a lower percent phagocytosis than did normal macrophages. Differences in phagocytosis could not be attributed to differences in macrophage viability, minor variations in the concentration of adherent macrophages, or a general depression in activated macrophage phagocytosis. Thioglycolate-activated macrophages required heat-labile opsonins for optimal phagocytosis of non-encapsulated cryptococci, whereas nonactivated macrophages did not require heat-labile opsonins for phagocytosis of the yeast. Both types of macrophages exhibited similar sensitivity to the phagocytosis-inhibiting properties of cryptococcal polysaccharide. The results show that depletion of heat-labile opsonins from serum or inactivation of yeast-bound, heat-labile opsonins by polysaccharide cannot account for the phagocytosis-inhibiting properties of cryptococcal polysaccharide.

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