Chronic arsenic exposure impairs macrophage functions in the exposed individuals

Nilanjana Banerjee, Saptarshi Banerjee, Rupashree Sen, Apurba Bandyopadhyay, Nilendu Sarma, Papiya Majumder, Jayanta K. Das, Mitali Chatterjee, Syed N. Kabir, Ashok K. Giri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Introduction: Owing to the established roles of human macrophages in immune defense, we investigated the effect of chronic arsenic exposure upon these major hematopoietic cells in 70 arsenic-exposed individuals with skin lesions and 64 unexposed individuals. Methods: Human monocyte-derived macrophages were prepared from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, by culture of the adherent cells for 6 days in medium supplemented with granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor. Parameters studied included cell adhesion capacity, expression of CD54 and F-actin, nitric oxide production, phagocytic capacity, and effect of arsenic on Rho A-ROCK pathway. Results: In macrophages of exposed individuals when compared to unexposed group, there was cell rounding accompanied with a significant (p<0.001) loss of cell adhesion capacity, decrease in nitric oxide production, impaired phagocytic capacity, and decreased CD 54 and F-actin expression. Additionally, chronic arsenic exposure affected Rho A-ROCK pathway which in turn impaired macrophage functions. Discussion and Conclusion: These altogether could contribute significantly to arsenic-induced immunosuppression observed in the arsenic-exposed individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-594
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Arsenic
  • Cell adhesion
  • Macrophage
  • Phagocytosis
  • Rho A-ROCK pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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