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J Neuroinflammation. 2014 Jan 23;11:14. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-11-14.

Intraperitoneal prophylaxis with CpG oligodeoxynucleotides protects neutropenic mice against intracerebral Escherichia coli K1 infection.

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Institute of Neuropathology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.



Prophylaxis with unmethylated cytosine phosphate guanidine (CpG) oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) protects against several systemic experimental infections. Escherichia coli is a major cause of Gram-negative neonatal bacterial meningitis and also causes meningitis and meningoencephalitis in older and immunocompromised patients.


Wild-type (wt) and Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9)-deficient mice were rendered neutropenic by intraperitoneal administration of the anti-Ly-6G monoclonal antibody. Immunocompetent and neutropenic mice received intraperitoneal CpG ODN or vehicle 72 h prior to induction of E. coli K1 meningoencephalitis.


Pre-treatment with CpG ODN significantly increased survival of neutropenic wt mice from 33% to 75% (P = 0.0003) but did not protect neutropenic TLR9-/- mice. The protective effect of CpG ODN was associated with an enhanced production of interleukin (IL)-12/IL-23p40 with sustained increased levels in serum and spleen at least for 17 days after conditioning compared to buffer-treated animals. CpG-treated neutropenic wt mice showed reduced bacterial concentrations and increased recruitment of Ly6ChighCCR2+ monocytes in brain and spleen 42 h after infection. The levels of macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in spleen were higher 42 h after infection in CpG-treated compared to buffer-treated neutropenic animals. In immunocompetent mice, prophylaxis with CpG ODN did not significantly increase survival compared to the buffer group (60% vs. 45%, P = 0.2).


These findings suggest that systemic administration of CpG ODN may help to prevent bacterial CNS infections in immunocompromised individuals.

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