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J Exp Med. 2005 Jun 6;201(11):1761-9. Epub 2005 May 31.

Recruitment of Gr-1+ monocytes is essential for control of acute toxoplasmosis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology, Center for Infectious Diseases, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Circulating murine monocytes comprise two largely exclusive subpopulations that are responsible for seeding normal tissues (Gr-1-/CCR2-/CX3CR1high) or responding to sites of inflammation (Gr-1+/CCR2+/CX3CR1lo). Gr-1+ monocytes are recruited to the site of infection during the early stages of immune response to the intracellular pathogen Toxoplasma gondii. A murine model of toxoplasmosis was thus used to examine the importance of Gr-1+ monocytes in the control of disseminated parasitic infection in vivo. The recruitment of Gr-1+ monocytes was intimately associated with the ability to suppress early parasite replication at the site of inoculation. Infection of CCR2-/- and MCP-1-/- mice with typically nonlethal, low doses of T. gondii resulted in the abrogated recruitment of Gr-1+ monocytes. The failure to recruit Gr-1+ monocytes resulted in greatly enhanced mortality despite the induction of normal Th1 cell responses leading to high levels of IL-12, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma. The profound susceptibility of CCR2-/- mice establishes Gr-1+ monocytes as necessary effector cells in the resistance to acute toxoplasmosis and suggests that the CCR2-dependent recruitment of Gr-1+ monocytes may be an important general mechanism for resistance to intracellular pathogens.

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