• N H Antia

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • An indomethacin sensitive suppressor factor released by macrophages of leprosy patients

      T J Birdi P R Salgame P R Mahadevan N H Antia

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      Reduction inFc receptor expression as assayed by ‘erythrocyte’ rosetting of macrophage cultures from long term treated lepromatous leprosy patients (bactereologically negative) was seen in the presence of viableMycobacterium leprae. Macrophages with and without intracellular bacilli demonstrated this reduction. On the basis of this observation the conditioned medium ofMycobacterium leprae infected macrophage cultures of lepromatous patients, were tested on macrophages from normal individuals for [3H]-leucine incorporation and antigen specific physical interaction with lymphocytes. Both these parameters showed decreased values as compared to the controls which were not exposed to this conditioned medium. Lymphocyte transformation toMycobacterium leprae in leucocyte cultures of normal individuals was also reduced in the presence of the conditioned medium from lepromatous patients’ macrophages. The indication that this factor may be a prostaglandin was suggested by the observation that its synthesis was inhibited by indomethacin. Its importance in the non-specific depression in cell-mediated immunity seen in lepromatous patients is discussed.

    • In vitro tests for screening of immuno-modulating mycobacterial strains in leprosy

      T J Birdi P R Salgama H Bharucha N H Antia

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      There is an urgent need for the development of anin vitro assay for the initial screening of a large number of organisms from which potential candidates as vaccines can be identified. Our previous studies have demonstrated a crucial defect in the lepromatous macrophage. In this study by monitoring this defective macrophage response we have screened various mycobacteria for their ability to reverse the alterations induced byMycobacterium leprae. Among the limited Mycobacteria testedMycobacterium vaccae appears to be the most promising as an immunomodulator. Our results also indicate the need for caution in using the mouse model for this purpose

    • Correlation of bacterial viability with uptake of [14C] acetate into phenolic glycolipid-1 ofMycobacterium leprae within Schwannoma cells

      Y Mistry N H Antia R Mukherjee

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      The viability ofMycobacterium leprae, maintained within 33B Schwannoma cells, was estimated in terms of incorporation of [14C] acetate into its specific phenolic glycolipid-1. This measure of viability was correlated with two other assays,viz., fluorescein diacetate/ethidium bromide staining and mouse footpad growth. Observation of a 2-fold increase in the number of intracellularMycobacterium leprae over an experimental period of 12 days also corroborated this contention. Furthermore, on addition of anti-leprosy drugs to these intracellularMycobacterium leprae there was significant decrease in phenolic glycolipid-1 synthesis indicative of loss of viability of the organisms. This study also established the importance of the host cell for active bacillary metabolism, asMycobacterium leprae maintained in cell-free conditions showed no incorporation into phenolic glycolipid-1. Moreover, compromising the host’s protein synthesis capacity with cycloheximide, also led to reduction in bacillary metabolism. As this system measures the metabolic synthesis of a uniqueMycobacterium leprae component, it would be useful for development and screening of compounds acting against specific bacillary targets.

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