Inhibitors of Ca2+ and K+ transport enhance intracellular killing of M-tuberculosis by non-killing macrophages

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Background: Human monocyte-derived macrophages that have little killing activity of their own kill intracellular Staphylococcus aureus when cultured in the presence of inhibitors of calcium and potassium efflux pumps. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of inhibitors such as ouabain, reserpine and verapamil in the killing activity of macrophages infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Materials and Methods: Macrophages obtained from peripheral blood were infected with M. tuberculosis ATCC27294 H37Rv and treated with reserpine, ouabain and verapamil. Results: After three days post-infection, macrophages treated with the inhibitors demonstrated an enhancement of the killing activity destroying the internalized bacteria. Conclusion: Whereas drugs that target the bacterium are predicted to lose effectiveness due to mutation of the bacterial target, drugs that enhance killing by macrophages that normally do not kill mycobacteria may yield a more effective form of infections therapy caused by multidrug resistant M. tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vivo
VolumeVol. 22
Issue numbern.º 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • macrophages
  • enhanced killing
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • efflux pump inhibitors
  • ex vivo studies
  • In-vitro activity
  • Efflux pumps
  • Phenothiazines
  • Thioridazine therapy
  • Resistence
  • Management
  • Therapy
  • Drugs
  • Susceptibility
  • Infections


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