The in vivo and ex vivo effects of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) were studied in a profoundly neutropenic rabbit model in order to determine its potential to augment pulmonary host defence against Aspergillus. M-CSF (100-600 μg/kg/d) was administered prophylactically to neutropenic rabbits with pulmonary aspergillosis starting three days pre-inoculation and then throughout neutropenia. Rabbits receiving M-CSF had significantly increased survival (P=0.01) and decreased pulmonary injury, as measured by decreased pulmonary infarction (P=0.004), when compared with untreated controls. Microscopic studies demonstrated greater numbers of activated pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAMs) in lung tissue of rabbits receiving M-CSF, in comparison to controls (P<0.001). PAMs harvested from rabbits treated with M-CSF had a significantly greater percent phagocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia than did PAMs from controls (P=0.04). These data indicate that prophylactic administration of M-CSF augments pulmonary host defence against A. fumigatus and suggest a potential role for this cytokine as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of pulmonary aspergillosis in the setting of profound neutropenia.
- Host defense
- Macrophage-Colony-Stimulating factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Molecular Biology