Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor augments phagocytosis of Mycobacterium avium complex by human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected monocytes/macrophages in vitro and in vivo

J Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;181(1):390-4. doi: 10.1086/315191.


The role of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection on the ability of human monocytes/macrophages to phagocytose Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) in vivo and in vitro and the effect of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) on this function were investigated. By use of a flow cytometric assay to quantify phagocytosis, HIV-1 infection was found to impair the ability of monocyte-derived macrophages to phagocytose MAC in vitro, whereas GM-CSF significantly improved this defect. Phagocytosis was not altered by exposure to a mutant form of GM-CSF (E21R) binding only to the alpha chain of the GM-CSF receptor, suggesting that signaling by GM-CSF that leads to augmentation of phagocytosis is via the beta chain of the receptor. In a patient with AIDS and disseminated multidrug-resistant MAC infection, GM-CSF treatment improved phagocytosis of MAC by peripheral blood monocytes and reduced bacteremia. These results imply that GM-CSF therapy may be useful in restoring antimycobacterial function by human monocytes/macrophages.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology*
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV-1 / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Macrophages / virology
  • Male
  • Monocytes / drug effects*
  • Monocytes / microbiology
  • Monocytes / virology
  • Mycobacterium avium Complex / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / complications
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / drug therapy
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects*


  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor