Modulation of functional activities of chicken heterophils by recombinant chicken IFN-gamma.
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The objective of the present studies was to examine the in vitro effects of recombinant chicken interferon-gamma (rChIFN-gamma) on shape change, phagocytosis, and the oxidative/nonoxidative killing activities of day-old chicken heterophils. Heterophils (4 x 10(6)/ml) were incubated with various concentrations of recombinant ChIFN-gamma from both Escherichia coli and transfected Cos cells for 2 h at 39 degrees C. The incubation of the neonatal heterophils with rChIFN-gamma resulted in significantly greater numbers of cells with membrane shape change when compared with the mock-treated heterophils. Both Cos cell-derived and E. coli-derived ChIFN-gamma significantly increased (p < 0.01) the phagocytosis of opsonized or nonopsonized Salmonella enteritidis by the neonatal heterophils in a concentration-dependent manner. Incubation with ChIFN-gamma induced no direct stimulation of the respiratory burst by the chicken heterophils but did prime the heterophils for a significantly strengthened respiratory burst to subsequent stimulation with opsonized zymosan (OZ). Lastly, incubation of the heterophils with ChIFN-gamma primed the cells for a significant increase in the release of beta-D-glucuronidase following stimulation with OZ. These results show that neonatal avian heterophils can respond to cytokine modulation with enhanced functional competence, suggesting that ChIFN-gamma can enhance the immune competence of the innate defenses of chickens during the first week of life.