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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Feb;30(2):415-22.

Direct anti-inflammatory effect of a bacterial virulence factor: IL-10-dependent suppression of IL-12 production by filamentous hemagglutinin from Bordetella pertussis.

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1
Infection and Immunity Group, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland.

Abstract

IL-12 plays a critical role in protective immunity against intracellular pathogens by promoting the development of Th1 cells. Here we demonstrate that filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), a virulence factor of Bordetella pertussis, is capable of suppressing IL-12 production by macrophages. FHA inhibited IL-12 secretion by a macrophage cell line or ex vivo alveolar macrophages in response to Escherichia coli or B. pertussis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and IFN-gamma. Antibodies to FHA or denaturation of FHA abrogated the inhibitory effect. Injection of mice with FHA suppressed IL-12 and IFN-gamma levels in the serum in response to i. v. injection of LPS in a model of septic shock. The suppressive effect of FHA was specific for IL-12, since the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-10 was not suppressed, and production of IL-6 and IL-10 was up-regulated. Antibody blocking studies revealed that the inhibitory effect of FHA on IL-12 production was dependent on IL-10. Since FHA is secreted at high levels and local T cell responses are suppressed during B. pertussis infection, the findings suggest that FHA may be a critical virulence factor in facilitating pathogen persistence in the respiratory tract by suppressing or delaying the development of cell-mediated immunity.

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