Exposure of to gentamicin 5 mg/L for 4 h resulted in the killing of most extracellular bacteria, but had no effect on the survival of bacteria inside macrophages. Higher concentrations of gentamicin caused a reduction in the number of intracellular bacteria. This effect was associated with cellular uptake of gentamicin, but was unaffected by activation of macrophages by interferon-γ and lipopolysaccharide. In experiments in which exposure to gentamicin 5 mg/L for 4 h was used to kill extracellular bacteria, killing by activated macrophages was impaired when O production was inhibited by superoxide dismutase, but not when nitric oxide production was blocked by -monomethyl--arginine. These data suggest that the reactive oxygen intermediates are more important than nitric oxide in the killing of , at least in macrophages activated


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