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Group B streptococci are the most important bacteria inducing neonatal septicemia and meningitis. The aim of this study was to assess the role of IFNgamma in the induction of anti-microbial effector mechanisms in human brain tumor cells. Different human glioblastoma/astrocytoma cell lines, stimulated with IFNgamma, restricted the growth of group B streptococci. In addition, we found that TNF alpha is able to enhance the IFNgamma-mediated anti-microbial effect. In contrast to group B streptococci, other bacteria which are also capable of inducing meningitis, like E. coli and all but one of the tested Streptococcus pneumoniae strains, were not influenced by the IFNgamma treated cells. We found that the IFNgamma or the IFNgamma/TNF alpha induced activation of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase is responsible for the inhibition of streptococcal growth, since the addition of supplemental L-tryptophan completely blocks the IFNgamma induced bacteriostasis.


Journal article


J Neuroimmunol

Publication Date





191 - 197


Glioblastoma, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Meningitis, Bacterial, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Tryptophan, Tryptophan Oxygenase, Tumor Cells, Cultured