Membranes of endolysosomal compartments in macrophages are often damaged by physical or chemical effects of particles ingested through phagocytosis or by toxins secreted by intracellular pathogens. This study identified a novel inducible activity in macrophages that increases resistance of phagosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes to membrane damage. Pretreatment of murine macrophages with LPS, peptidoglycan, TNF-, or IFN- conferred protection against subsequent damage to intracellular membranes caused by photooxidative chemistries or by phagocytosis of ground silica or silica microspheres. Phagolysosome damage was partially dependent on reactive oxygen species but was independent of the phagocyte oxidase. IFN--stimulated macrophages from mice lacking the phagocyte oxidase inhibited escape from vacuoles by the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, which suggested a role for this inducible renitence (resistance to pressure) in macrophage resistance to infection by pathogens that damage intracellular membranes. Renitence and inhibition of L. monocytogenes escape were partially attributable to heat shock protein-70. Thus, renitence is a novel, inducible activity of macrophages that maintains or restores the integrity of endolysosomal membranes.