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J Immunol. 2010 Feb 15;184(4):2065-75. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902386. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

The innate immune response to uropathogenic Escherichia coli involves IL-17A in a murine model of urinary tract infection.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Uropathogenic Escherichia coli is the causative agent for >80% of uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs). Uropathogenic E. coli strains express a number of virulence and fitness factors that allow successful colonization of the mammalian bladder. To combat this, the host has distinct mechanisms to prevent adherence to the bladder wall and to detect and kill uropathogenic E. coli in the event of colonization. In this study, we investigated the role of IL-17A, an innate-adaptive immunomodulatory cytokine, during UTI using a murine model. Splenocytes isolated from mice infected by the transurethral route robustly expressed IL-17A in response to in vitro stimulation with uropathogenic E. coli Ags. Transcript expression of IL-17A in the bladders of infected mice correlated with a role in the innate immune response to UTI, and gammadelta cells seem to be a key source of IL-17A production. Although IL-17A seems to be dispensable for the generation of a protective response to uropathogenic E. coli, its importance in innate immunity is demonstrated by a defect in acute clearance of uropathogenic E. coli in IL-17A(-/-) mice. This clearance defect is likely a result of deficient cytokine and chemokine transcripts and impaired macrophage and neutrophil influx during infection. These results show that IL-17A is a key mediator for the innate immune response to UTIs.

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