Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Medicine

Reader in Molecular Bacteriology & Infection



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BibTex format

author = {Boechat, N and Bouchonnet, F and Bonay, M and Grodet, A and Pelicic, V and Gicquel, B and Hance, AJ},
journal = {J Immunol},
pages = {6203--6211},
title = {Culture at high density improves the ability of human macrophages to control mycobacterial growth.},
url = {},
volume = {166},
year = {2001}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The mechanisms through which granuloma formation helps control mycobacterial infection are poorly understood, but it is possible that the accumulation of macrophages at high density at sites of infection promotes the differentiation of macrophages into cells with improved mycobactericidal activity. To test this possibility, varying numbers of monocytes were cultured in 96-well plates for 3 days, infected with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin, and mycobacterial number was assessed 7 days after infection based on the measurement of luciferase activity expressed by a mycobacterial reporter strain or by counting CFU. Mycobacterial growth was optimal in cultures containing 5 x 10(4) cells/well, but increasing the number of cells to 2 x 10(5) cells/well resulted in complete inhibition of mycobacterial growth. This effect could not be explained by differences in mycobacterial uptake, multiplicity of infection, acidification of the extracellular medium in high density cultures, enhanced NO production, or paracrine stimulation resulting from secretion of cytokines or other proteins. The morphology of cells cultured at high density was strikingly different from that of monocytes cultured at 5 x 10(4) cells/well, including the appearance of numerous giant cells. The bacteriostatic activity of monocyte-derived macrophages was also dependent on cell number, but fewer of these more mature cells were required to control mycobacterial growth. Thus, the ability of human macrophages to control mycobacterial infection in vitro is influenced by the density of cells present, findings that may help explain why the formation of granulomas in vivo appears to be a key event in the control of mycobacterial infections.
AU - Boechat,N
AU - Bouchonnet,F
AU - Bonay,M
AU - Grodet,A
AU - Pelicic,V
AU - Gicquel,B
AU - Hance,AJ
EP - 6211
PY - 2001///
SN - 0022-1767
SP - 6203
TI - Culture at high density improves the ability of human macrophages to control mycobacterial growth.
T2 - J Immunol
UR -
VL - 166
ER -