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Eur J Immunol. 1999 Apr;29(4):1107-15.

Salmonella efficiently enter and survive within cultured CD11c+ dendritic cells initiating cytokine expression.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 28223, USA.


While Salmonella infects macrophages, this cell population may not be the only one important for disseminating intracellular bacteria from mucosal sites. Dendritic cells (DC) are present in the Peyer's patches and are mobilized following stimulation. Such characteristics would seem to be ideal for the dissemination of an intracellular, mucosal pathogen. However, it has been difficult to obtain sufficient numbers of DC to assess their ability to harbor Salmonella or to monitor DC in vivo. In the present study, this problem has been addressed by expanding DC in vivo using flt3 ligand, followed by the purification of CD11c+ cells using antibody-coated magnetic beads or by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Salmonella dublin were found to be efficiently internalized, and to survive and replicate within purified CD11c+ DC, and also in CD11c+, CD8alpha+ or CD11c+, CD11b+ DC subpopulations. The ability of Salmonella to enter DC is of similar magnitude to that reported for macrophages, suggesting that this cell population could be an important host cell for dissemination of this pathogen from mucosal sites. Furthermore, infected DC responded to Salmonella by secretion of IL-1, IL-6 and IL-12. As such, these cells may be important sources of these cytokines during the host response against Salmonella infection.

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