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Kogut, M. H.; Pishko, E. J.; Kaspers, Bernd and Weining, K. C. (2001): Modulation of Functional Activities of Chicken Heterophils by Recombinant Chicken IFN-γ. In: Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, Vol. 21, No. 2: pp. 85-92 [PDF, 411kB]


The objective of the present studies was to examine the in vitro effects of recombinant chicken interferon-γ (rChIFN-γ) on shape change, phagocytosis, and the oxidative/nonoxidative killing activities of day-old chicken heterophils. Heterophils (4 × 106/ml) were incubated with various concentrations of recombinant ChIFN-γ from both Escherichia coli and transfected Cos cells for 2 h at 39°C. The incubation of the neonatal heterophils with rChIFN-γ 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-γ 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-γ 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-γ primed the cells for a significant increase in the release of β-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-γ can enhance the immune competence of the innate defenses of chickens during the first week of life.

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