Induction of interferon and activation of NK cells and macrophages in mice by oral administration of Ge-132, an organic germanium compound

H. Aso, Fujio Suzuki, T. Yamaguchi, Y. Hayashi, T. Ebina, N. Ishida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations


After oral administration of an organic germanium compound, Ge-132 (300 mg/kg), a significant level of interferon (IFN) activity was detected in the sera of mice at 20 hr and it reached a maximum of 320 U/ml at 24 hr. This IFN activity was lost after heat- or acid-treatment, suggesting that the induced IFN is of γ-nature. The molecular weight of this IFN was estimated to be 50,000 daltons by gel filtration. The NK activity of spleen cells was increased 24 hr after the oral administration of Ge-132, and cytotoxic macrophages were induced in the peritoneal cavity by 48 hr. In the mice receiving an intraperitoneal (ip) injection of trypan blue or carrageenan 2 days before oral administration of Ge-132, neither induction of IFN nor augmentation of NK activity occurred, and X-ray irradiation of mice also rendered the mice incapable of producing IFN, all indicating that both macrophages and lymphocytes are required for this IFN induction. Both NK and cytotoxic macrophages appeared 18 hr after ip administration of the induced IFN with a titer as low as 20 U/ml. These facts suggest that both the augmentation of NK activity and activation of macrophages in mice after oral administration of Ge-132 are mediated by the induced IFN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Cite this