Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) infection alters the surface and endocytic properties of mouse peritoneal macrophages (PM) compared with thioglycollate- elicited (TPM) or resident PM (RPM). Expression of Ia antigen (Ag) is enhanced up to fourfold, but plasma membrane receptors that mediate binding and uptake of mannosyl/fucosyl-terminated glycoconjugates (MFR), Fc receptors, and the macrophage (mφ)-specific Ag F4/80 are reduced by 50-80 percent. Levels of Mac-1 remain relatively stable. These changes are accompanied by enhanced secretion of O(2)(-), after further stimulation with phorbyl myristate acetate, and of plasminogen activator. Both these products are released by TPM, but not RPM. The characteristic surface phenotype of BCG-PM can also be induced by injection of C. parvum, another mφ- activating agent, but not by thioglycollate broth, lipopolysaccharide, or proteose peptone. Purified protein derivative (PPD) and N-acetylmuramyl-L- alanyl-D-isoglutamine. 2H(2)0 are soluble agents with partial activity.
Alteration of mφ markers by BCG infection depends on T lymphocyte function, although studies with nude mice indicate that other pathways may also serve to modify the surface of the mφ. Mφ from uninfected animals displayed all markers of activation after adoptive transfer of specifically-sensitised lymphocytes with PPD, intraperitoneally, or after co- cultivation. Treatment of primed lymphocytes with anti-Thy-1 antibody and complement ablated this effect. Lymphokines obtaned by Ag or mitogen stimulation induced similar changes in TPM and RPM. Mannose-specific endocytosis decayed rapidly, time 1/2 approximately equal to 16 h and stabilized at approximately 25 percent of control values. Single-cell analysis showed that residual MFR activity was uniform in the target population. Loss of Ag F4/80 after activation by lymphocyte and PPD was less marked than after infection (35 percent vs 80 percent), unlike MFR activity, which declined to a similar extent. Induction of mφ Ia by lymphokine reached a peak after 2-3 d and was lost within 2 d of its removal. Recovery of MFR and F4/80 was incomplete under these conditions.
These studies establish that activated mφ known to display enhanced antimicrobial/anticellular activity express markedly different surface properties distinct from elicited or resident cells. The role of antigen- stimulated T cell products in regulating mφ function is confirmed, and down-regulation of mannosyl-receptor-mediated endocytosis provides a sensitive, quantitative, and cell-specific new marker to study their properties and mechanism of action. Extensive, but selective remodeling of mφ plasma membrane structure could play an important role in controlling recognition and effector mechanisms of the activated mφ.