Alveolar macrophages (AM) are the primary target cell of the lung for inhaled mycobacterial pathogens. We investigated the effect of the synthetic lipopeptide MALP-2 on the interaction between AM from rats and Mycobacterium bovis BCG. AM were infected with M. bovis BCG at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 10 and then cultured in medium alone or medium supplemented with either synthetic macrophage activating lipopeptide-2 (MALP-2), or IFN-gamma, or both. Mycobacterial CFU were counted on days 3 and 7 and cell-free supernatants were collected for cytokine measurements. Treatment of macrophages with MALP-2 led to reduced bacterial loads by day 3 and 7 post-infection and at the same time enhanced the release of TNF-alpha, IL-6 und IL-10 compared to non-stimulated, M. bovis BCG-infected AM. Macrophages co-treated with MALP-2 and IFN-gamma or IFN-gamma in the absence of MALP-2 limited the growth of M. bovis BCG only by day 3, but not day 7 post-stimulation. Our data show that MALP-2 is effective in decreasing bacterial loads in lung sentinel cells.