, Volume 197, Issue 1, pp 89–94 | Cite as

Effect of High Glucose on Human Alveolar Macrophage Phenotype and Phagocytosis of Mycobacteria

  • Jesse Vance
  • Andres Santos
  • Laura Sadofsky
  • Alyn Morice
  • Jorge CervantesEmail author



Diabetes mellitus (DBM) reduces immunological activity and increases susceptibility to various infections, including tuberculosis (TB). Human alveolar macrophage (hAM) functions are altered in DBM.


To mimic hyperglycemic conditions in the lung alveolus, we co-cultured a hAM cell line (Daisy cell line) with human umbilical vein endothelial cells for 48 h in the presence of culture media alone, normal glucose (5 mM), and high glucose (22 mM). Using flow cytometry, immunophenotype characterization included cell surface markers CD 11c, CD14, CD16, CD86, CD163, CD169, CD206, CX3CR-1, CSF-1R, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9). Phagocytic function was measured by immunofluorescence microscopy at 24 h after inoculation of cells with GFP-expressing Mycobacterium smegmatis.


Direct exposure of AMs to high glucose and exposure in the co-culture system yield different results for the same phenotypic markers. MMP9 expression was increased under both conditions. CD169 and CX3CR1 expressions were decreased when AMs were exposed directly to high glucose but increased under co-culture. Immunofluorescence assay revealed that phagocytosis decreased in AMs when directly exposed to increased glucose levels from 2.5 mM to normal glucose (5 mM), yet AMs under co-culture did not show decreased phagocytosis until concentrations were raised to 25 mM.


Alteration in the expression of certain receptors may contribute to defective sentinel function of AMs, promoting susceptibility to TB in a diabetic host. Variability in cell surface marker expression under direct glucose exposure compared to exposure via co-culture reveals that cell signaling between endothelial cells and AMs may play a crucial role in the phenotypic expression of AMs.


Diabetes Alveolar macrophages Tuberculosis Mycobacteria 



Special thanks to Dr. Nicolai van Oers (UT Southwestern) for supplying the GFP-expressing M. smegmatis. This study was supported by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (US) (Grant No. Mini SARP Grant).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

408_2018_181_MOESM1_ESM.docx (133 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1 (DOCX 132 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paul L. Foster School of MedicineTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterEl PasoUSA
  2. 2.The Hull York Medical SchoolUniversity of HullHullUK

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