Activation of the neutrophil bactericidal activity for nontypable Haemophilus influenzae by tumor necrosis factor and lymphotoxin

Pediatr Res. 1995 Feb;37(2):155-9. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199502000-00005.


Previous studies have suggested that, in vivo, activated T lymphocytes and neutrophils are important in immunity to nontypable Haemophilus influenzae. We now extend this work by showing that neutrophils pretreated with products of activated T lymphocytes or activated macrophages show significantly enhanced killing of nontypable H. influenzae. Lymphotoxin, a product of activated T lymphocytes, significantly enhanced the neutrophil-mediated killing of nontypable H. influenzae, and tumor necrosis factor, produced by activated T lymphocytes as well as macrophages stimulated by activated T lymphocytes, also significantly increased the bactericidal activity of neutrophils. These cytokine-induced effects were seen with short pretreatment times of neutrophils and were maximal by 30 min. The killing of H. influenzae by neutrophils required the presence of heat-labile opsonins. In the absence of these opsonins, both tumor necrosis factor and lymphotoxin were unable to promote the killing of the bacteria by neutrophils. Furthermore, the results showed that tumor necrosis factor-primed neutrophils displayed significantly increased expression of CR3 and CR4 that was associated with increased phagocytosis of complement-opsonized nontypable H. influenzae. These cytokines may play an important role in immunity toward nontypable H. influenzae by stimulating neutrophil bactericidal activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD11 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Haemophilus influenzae* / classification
  • Humans
  • Integrins / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / pharmacology*
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Opsonin Proteins / physiology
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects*
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*


  • CD11 Antigens
  • Integrins
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Opsonin Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha