1989 Volume 35 Issue 1 Pages 49-59
Phagocytosis of opsonized sheep red blood cells (SRBC) by alveolar macrophages (AM) was measured in rats fasted for 1 to 9 days or fed on diets restricted 20 to 95% compared to control group for 2 and 8 weeks. In rats fasted for 1 to 6 days, AM showed an increased phago-cytosis at 2 days after fasting, but their phagocytic activity remarkably decreased afterwards. Furthermore, phagocytic activity of AM per rat revealed much more decrease at 3 to 6 days after fasting. Then the production of interleukin-1 (IL-1) by AM increased with prolonged fasting, but the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by AM cultured with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) conversely decreased in rats fasted for 2 days or longer. The proliferation of splenocytes increased with prolonged fasting. On the other hand, 20 to 95% restricted diets induced the increased phagocytosis of AM with prolonged experimental period. However, phagocytic activity of AM per rat showed significant increase only in rats on a 40% restricted diet. The findings suggest that differences in both duration and degree of dietary restriction modulate phagocytic function of AM, and may contribute to explaining, in part, conflicting observations which have been obtained on the immunologic state in malnourished animals.