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J Immunol. 2004 Sep 15;173(6):4197-206.

IL-8 is a key chemokine regulating neutrophil recruitment in a new mouse model of Shigella-induced colitis.

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Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U389, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The lack of a mouse model of acute rectocolitis mimicking human bacillary dysentery in the presence of invasive Shigella is a major handicap to study the pathogenesis of the disease and to develop a Shigella vaccine. The inability of the mouse intestinal mucosa to elicit an inflammatory infiltrate composed primarily of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) may be due to a defect in epithelial invasion, in the sensing of invading bacteria, or in the effector mechanisms that recruit the PMN infiltrate. We demonstrate that the BALB/cJ mouse colonic epithelium not only can be invaded by Shigella, but also elicits an inflammatory infiltrate that, however, lacks PMN. This observation points to a major defect of mice in effector mechanisms, particularly the lack of expression of the CXC chemokine, IL-8. Indeed, this work demonstrates that the delivery of recombinant human IL-8, together with Shigella infection of the colonic epithelial surface, causes an acute colitis characterized by a strong PMN infiltrate that, by all criteria, including transcription profiles of key mediators of the innate/inflammatory response and histopathological lesions, mimics bacillary dysentery. This is a major step forward in the development of a murine model of bacillary dysentery.

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