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Vet Microbiol. 1994 Jul;41(1-2):19-28.

Infection of murine fetal brain cell cultures with Listeria monocytogenes.

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Institute of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of Animals, School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany.


The uptake of Listeria monocytogenes by different brain cells was studied in primary dissociated brain cell cultures derived from murine fetuses. In respect to the supposed intraaxonal migration of Listeria monocytogenes in the pathogenesis of listeric focal brain stem encephalitis, it was examined whether the bacterium was internalized by neurons. Infection rates of distinct cell types were determined by double immunofluorescence with antibodies against cell type-specific markers and the bacterial pathogen. Because of the changing composition of the cultures and time-dependent expression of the oligodendrocyte marker galactocerebroside (GC), infections were carried out on day 4, 6, 8, and 15 in vitro. Listeria monocytogenes was detected predominantly within macrophages. Astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and fibronectin-expressing cells were infected to a lesser extent. The lowest rates of infection were observed in neurons. A tropism of Listeria monocytogenes for neurons was not detected in vitro.

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