Objective and design: The effects of various inflammatory stimuli on the cytokine profile and phagocytic capacity of mouse and rat peritoneal macrophages were investigated in vitro. The correlations between cytokine concentrations and the expressions of NOS II and arginase were also studied. Methods: Mice and rats were injected intraperitoneally with various inflammatory agents. Peritoneal macrophages were isolated. The levels of eight cytokines were determined in macrophage cultures by ELISA test. Phagocytic capacity of macrophages was measured by the ingestion of M. Luteus. Results: The most marked changes caused by i. p. treatments were observed in the levels of IL-1 and IL-6 in mice and of IL-12 in rats. IFN-γ level were increased mainly in rat cells while TNF-α production was rather enhanced in mice. Phagocytic capacity of macrophages was higher in rat samples and it increased with all treatments, except BCG, without marked differences between different treatments. Conclusions: Each inflammatory agent caused an increase in cytokine productions in both species, with marked differences among cytokines. Correlations were found in mouse between IL-6 level and NOS II expression, and IL-10 level with arginase expression. In rat macrophages, IFN-γ, TNF-α and MIP-2 productions were in good correlation with NOS II expression.
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