Potential effects of erythromycin on host defense systems and virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Y. Hirakata, M. Kaku, R. Mizukane, K. Ishida, N. Furuya, T. Matsumoto, K. Tateda, K. Yamaguchi

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65 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated several potential effects of erythromycin (EM) on host defense systems and the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Peritoneal macrophages obtained from mice given 250 mg of EM per kg of body weight for 7 days by the intraperitoneal, intravenous, subcutaneous, or oral route produced significantly greater amounts of thymocyte-activating factors. These data suggest that EM enhances the in vivo production of cytokines, such as interleukins 1 and 6. Treatment of P. aeruginosa D4 with subinhibitory concentrations of EM enhanced the association of bacteria with murine Kupffer cells in vitro and increased bacterial clearance from the blood in mice. EM suppressed the in vitro production of exotoxin A, total protease, elastase, and phospholipase C by P. aeruginosa D4; exotoxin A production by P. aeruginosa PA-103; and total protease production by P. aeruginosa B16 and PAO1 in a generally dose-dependent manner. These data demonstrate that EM produces various effects in addition to its direct antimicrobial activity, suggesting that it has potential as an immunomodulator or bacterial virulence-suppressing agent against P. aeruginosa and other infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1922-1927
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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