Effect of in vitro formed immune complexes on macrophage functions of Mycobacterium leprae infected mice.
Nonspecific macrophage functions were studied in Mycobacterium leprae infected and preformed immune complex (IC) administered normal (NI) and thymectomized/irradiated (TRI) mice at different time periods. Uninfected controls given IC were also included. Significant decrease in the chemotaxis, phagocytosis and bactericidal activities of macrophages obtained from infected groups compared to their controls were observed. Phagocytic and chemotactic activities of macrophages were normal but intracellular killing was seen to be depressed in studies conducted in normal and thymectomized immunosuppressed groups (Vaishnavi et al., 1985, Kumar et al, 1987) which were not administered with preformed IC.