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Front Immunol. 2011 Jul 4;2:26. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2011.00026. eCollection 2011.

Innate IFN-γ-producing cells in the spleen of mice early after Listeria monocytogenes infection: importance of microenvironment of the cells involved in the production of innate IFN-γ.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Kitasato University School of Medicine Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. shinkubo@med.kitasato-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Production of innate interferon-γ (IFN-γ) is a crucial step in immunological defense against bacteria. However, there is little information regarding cellular mechanisms underlying IFN-γ production in vivo early after bacterial infection. Here we analyze innate IFN-γ production in the spleen of mice early after Listeria monocytogenes (LM) infection ex vivo by flow-cytometry and in situ by immunohistochemistry, and compare them with the IFN-γ-producing cells reported previously in our in vitro coculture system in which cell-cell interaction between lymphocytes and dying bacterial-infected macrophages is required for the production of IFN-γ. In the spleen at 20 h after LM infection, natural killer (NK) cells, a subset of αβ T cells, and subsets of NKT and γδ T cells produced IFN-γ with features similar to the IFN-γ-producing cells in our in vitro coculture system. Immunohistochemistry revealed that LM bacteria were first phagocytosed mainly by ER-TR9⁺ marginal zone macrophages (MZMs), then forming infectious foci in close vicinity of the marginal zone (MZ) at 20-h postinfection. At this time point, the IFN-γ-producing cells were accumulating at the same site of infectious foci, around which ER-TR9⁺ MZMs were clustered but most of bacteria were no longer associated with ER-TR9⁺ MZMs. These results indicate that innate IFN-γ production by innate lymphocytes takes place at infectious foci formed in close vicinity of the MZ, and they also suggest an important role for the microenvironment of the cells accumulated at infectious foci in inducing the production of innate IFN-γ.

KEYWORDS:

Listeria monocytogenes; cellular microenvironment; innate lymphocyte; interferon-γ; macrophage cell death; marginal zone macrophage; natural killer cell

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