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Infect Immun. 2000 Aug;68(8):4470-6.

Adaptive immunity against Listeria monocytogenes in the absence of type I tumor necrosis factor receptor p55.

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Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and the type I TNF receptor (TNFRI), p55, are critical for resistance against primary infections with the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Importantly, however, susceptibility to primary listeriosis in cytokine-deficient mice does not preclude the development or expression of effective adaptive immunity against virulent L. monocytogenes. We used TNFRI(-/-) mice to study adaptive antilisterial immunity in the absence of interactions between TNF and TNFRI. Our experiments indicate that TNFRI(-/-) mice survive and clear high-dose challenges with an attenuated strain of L. monocytogenes that is incapable of cell-to-cell spread. Furthermore, TNFRI(-/-) mice immunized with attenuated L. monocytogenes go on to develop potent adaptive immunity to subsequent high-dose challenges with virulent L. monocytogenes. Interestingly, CD8(+) T-cell depletion in vivo inhibits immunity to L. monocytogenes in the spleen but not in the liver of TNFRI(-/-) mice. The adaptive immune response in these animals is characterized by activation of listeriolysin O-specific CD8(+) T cells, which are capable of transferring antilisterial immunity to naive wild-type C57BL/6 host mice. These experiments demonstrate the development and expression of potent CD8(+) T-cell-mediated antilisterial immunity in the absence of TNFRI.

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