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Immunology. 2004 Apr;111(4):453-61.

Less inhibition of interferon-gamma to organism growth in host cells may contribute to the high susceptibility of C3H mice to Chlamydia trachomatis lung infection.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


T-helper-1-like cytokine response and cell-mediated immunity have been shown to be critical in host resistance to Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Using a murine pneumonia model, we compared the susceptibility of C3H/HeN (C3H) and C57BL/6 mice to C. trachomatis mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) infection. C3H mice exhibited significantly higher mortality, greater organism growth and much more severe pathological changes in the lung compared with C57BL/6 mice. However, the pattern of adaptive immune responses including organism-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity, antibody responses and cytokine [interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-12 (IL-12), IL-4, IL-10 and tumour necrosis factor alpha] production by spleen and local draining lymph node cells in these two strains of mice appeared comparable during the process of infection. Interestingly, MoPn growth in the cultured ex vivo macrophages from C3H mice was found to be significantly less inhibited by the exogenous IFN-gamma present in the culture compared to C57BL/6 mice. The lower inhibition of MoPn growth in C3H mice was associated with significantly lower nitric oxide production by the infected macrophages following IFN-gamma stimulation. The data suggest that the cellular events downstream of cytokine production in chlamydia host cells may be important in determining the different susceptibility of hosts to chlamydial infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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