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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Nov 5;216(2):229-34.

A Chlamydia pneumoniae infection model using established human lymphocyte cell lines.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 12901 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Since current studies indicate possible infection of human lymphocytes with Chlamydia (Chlamydophila) pneumoniae, establishment of an in vitro C. pneumoniae infection model using lymphocyte cell lines was demonstrated. Human lymphoid cell lines (Molt 4 [T-cell] and P3HR1 [B-cell]) were utilized for this purpose besides human monocyte cell line (THP-1) and human epithelial cell line (HEp-2), as a reference of monocyte/macrophage cells and a positive control for support of C. pneumoniae growth, respectively. Both lymphoid cells (Molt 4 and P3HR1) supported the growth of C. pneumoniae as demonstrated by Chlamydia inclusion formation, detection of increased infective progenies and increased bacterial antigen levels. Similar data were obtained using monocyte THP-1 cells. However, the bacterial growth in these cells was less than that in HEp-2 cells. The electron microscopic study showed typical inclusions with many Chlamydia elementary bodies in lymphoid cells tested, similar to that seen in HEp-2 cells. These results indicate that C. pneumoniae can infect cells with lymphocyte properties and this infection model with lymphoid cell line cells could be valuable to study details of lymphocyte-C. pneumoniae interaction.

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