In previous studies it was shown that administration of liposome-encapsulated MTPPE (LE-MTPPE) led to resistance against Klebsiella pneumoniae infection. To get more insight in the cell types that are involved in this by LE-MTPPE induced antibacterial resistance, the tissue distribution of liposomes encapsulating MTPPE and the distribution over the cells in the main target organs were investigated. After intravenous injection of the liposomes in mice a substantial amount was recovered from liver and spleen and a smaller amount from the lung. In the liver 83% of the liposomes was taken up by the macrophages. In the spleen also most liposomes were taken up by macrophages of the red and white pulp as well as by dendrocytes. The liver and spleen were also the organs in which, after intravenous inoculation, K. pneumoniae was trapped. It was observed that cells containing LE-MTPPE often had not taken up bacteria. Most bacteria, about 73%, were found in cells not containing liposomes. The capacity of the liposome-containing cells to take up bacteria did not change with time. This suggests that the by LE-MTPPE immunostimulating effect is due to the production of cytokines by the cells that take up LE-MTPPE. These cytokines might stimulate other cells to the killing of bacteria.

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