Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Leukoc Biol. 2012 Oct;92(4):815-27. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0711336. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Chlamydia trachomatis vacuole maturation in infected macrophages.

Author information

  • 1Departments of Cell and Systems Biology and Biological Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.


Chlamydia trachomatis is an obligate intracellular bacterium responsible for one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. In epithelial cells, C. trachomatis resides in a modified membrane-bound vacuole known as an inclusion, which is isolated from the endocytic pathway. However, the maturation process of C. trachomatis within immune cells, such as macrophages, has not been studied extensively. Here, we demonstrated that RAW macrophages effectively suppressed C. trachomatis growth and prevented Golgi stack disruption, a hallmark defect in epithelial cells after C. trachomatis infection. Next, we systematically examined association between C. trachomatis and various endocytic pathway markers. Spinning disk confocal time-lapse studies revealed significant and rapid association between C. trachomatis with Rab7 and LAMP1, markers of late endosomes and lysosomes. Moreover, pretreatment with an inhibitor of lysosome acidification led to significant increases in C. trachomatis growth in macrophages. At later stages of infection, C. trachomatis associated with the autophagy marker LC3. TEM analysis confirmed that a significant portion of C. trachomatis resided within double-membrane-bound compartments, characteristic of autophagosomes. Together, these results suggest that macrophages can suppress C. trachomatis growth by targeting it rapidly to lysosomes; moreover, autophagy is activated at later stages of infection and targets significant numbers of the invading bacteria, which may enhance subsequent chlamydial antigen presentation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk