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Infect Immun. 1992 Jan;60(1):84-9.

In vivo modulation of the murine immune response to Francisella tularensis LVS by administration of anticytokine antibodies.

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  • 1Department of Cellular Immunology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

Abstract

The role(s) of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-4 (IL-4) in establishment and maintenance of protective immunity to Francisella tularensis LVS in mice (C3H/HeN) was examined by selective removal of these cytokines in vivo with neutralizing antibodies. The 50% lethal dose (LD50) for mice infected intradermally with F. tularensis alone was 136,000 CFU; treatment of mice with anti-IFN-gamma or anti-TNF-alpha at the time of infection significantly reduced (P much less than 0.05) the LD50 to 2 and 5 CFU, respectively. Abrogation of protective immunity, however, was effective only when anti-IFN-gamma or anti-TNF-alpha was administered prior to day 3 postinfection. In contrast, the LD50 for mice treated with anti-IL-4 was repeatedly higher (555,000 CFU) than for controls; this difference, however, was not significant (P greater than 0.05). Thus, IL-4 may be detrimental, while IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha were clearly crucial to the establishment of protective immunity to F. tularensis during a primary infection. The importance of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha during a secondary immune response to F. tularensis was also investigated. Spleen cells from immune mice passively transfer protective immunity to recipient mice in the absence of confounding antibody-mediated immunity. This passive transfer of immunity, however, was abrogated by treatment of recipient mice with anti-IFN-gamma or anti-TNF-alpha at the time of challenge infection. That anticytokines effectively abrogate protective immunity very early in the course of infection with F. tularensis suggests that T-cell-dependent activation of macrophages for microbicidal activity is unlikely. These T-cell-independent events early in the course of infection may suppress bacterial replication until a T-cell-dependent response ultimately clears the bacteria.

PMID:
1729199
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC257506
Free PMC Article
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