Lysosomal Stability during Phagocytosis of Aspergillus flavus Spores by Alveolar Macrophages of Cortisone-Treated Mice

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Science  05 Apr 1968:
Vol. 160, Issue 3823, pp. 79-81
DOI: 10.1126/science.160.3823.79


Control mice and those treated with cortisone were exposed to aerosols of viable spores of Aspergillus flavus. Fifteen to 20 minutes later, animals were killed, and alveolar macrophages were obtained by tracheobronchial lavage. Electron-microscopic examination of these cells revealed that, whereas the lysosomes of control macrophages showed extensive attraction and fusion with the phagocytic membranes surrounding spores, the lysosomes of macrophages from animals treated with cortisone revealed little, if any, interaction. This diminished lysosomal response in forming phagocytic vacuoles may be important in the subsequent development of hyphal bronchopneumonia which frequently, occurs in cortisonetreated mice exposed to spores of A. flavus.