Effect of zinc on peritoneal macrophages in vitro.

Infection and Immunity
M ChvapilJ B Campbell


Rat peritoneal macrophages incubated in a medium with 10% autologous serum showed 50% inhibition of O2 consumption by 0.4 mM zinc only when activated by yeast. Zinc ions had no effect on resting macrophages. The inhibitory efficiency of zinc depended on the ratio of yeast particles to macrophages; with more activated cells, the inhibition was less. The multiple-shaped intact macrophages changed into rounded cells in the presence of 0.1 and 0.5 mM Zn2+ as shown by photomicrography and scanning electron microscopy. When the incubation medium was replaced by zinc-free medium, cells recovered and became irregularly shaped. The reversibility of zinc effect on cell morphology corresponded with uptake and release of zinc by macrophages. The presence of serum in the medium interfered with the magnitude of zinc uptake by macrophages. We conclude that besides already reported effects of zinc on mast cells, platelets, and granulocytes, zinc ions also inhibit some functions of macrophages.


Apr 1, 1973·Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine·L KarlC F Zukoski

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