Granuloma formation and hemopoiesis induced by C36-48-mycolic acid-containing glycolipids from Nocardia rubra.

Infection and immunity

PubMedID: 3781628

Kaneda K, Sumi Y, Kurano F, Kato Y, Yano I. Granuloma formation and hemopoiesis induced by C36-48-mycolic acid-containing glycolipids from Nocardia rubra. Infect Immun. 1986;54(3):869-75.
As previously reported (I. Yano, I. Tomiyasu, S. Kitabatake, and K. Kaneda, Acta Leprologica 2:341-349, 1984), Nocardia rubra, one of the nonpathogenic actinomycetes, possesses three classes of mycolic acid-containing glycolipid, i.e., glucose mycolate, trehalose dimycolate, and trehalose monomycolate. The carbon chain length of their mycolic acids is shorter (C36-48) than that in mycobacteria (longer than C70), and the glycolipid consists of only alpha-mycolic acid. One intravenous administration of 500 micrograms of each purified glycolipid to ICR mice in the form of water-in-oil-in-water emulsion without any protein antigens caused prominent granuloma formation in the lungs, spleen, and liver. The lung index in the treated mice was about 3.5 times larger than that in the control mice (given water-in-oil-in-water emulsion only) at 1 week after the injection and then rapidly declined, while spleen and liver indices peaked at 2 weeks after the injection and persisted longer. The granuloma consisted of macrophages, some of which phagocytized glycolipid micelles, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils. In addition, many small hemopoietic islands were observed in the liver sinusoids, where various immature blood cells were trapped by the prominent cytoplasmic projections of Kupffer cells. The granuloma formation and hemopoiesis observed here are considered to be the most characteristic morphological expression of macrophage activation in these organs. This is the first report to show that such histological changes can be induced by chemically defined and homogeneous mycolic acid-containing glycolipids other than those of mycobacteria.