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Infect Immun. 1996 Dec;64(12):5211-8.

Tumor necrosis factor mediates lung antibacterial host defense in murine Klebsiella pneumonia.

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Department of Medicine, The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109-0360, USA.


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a proinflammatory cytokine which has recently been shown to have beneficial effects in the setting of acquired host immunity. However, the role of TNF in innate immune responses, as in the setting of bacterial pneumonia, has been incompletely characterized. To determine the role of TNF in gram-negative bacterial pneumonia, CBA/J mice were challenged with 10(2) CFU of Klebsiella pneumoniae intratracheally, resulting in the time-dependent expression of TNF MRNA and protein within the lung. Passive immunization of animals with a soluble TNF receptor-immunoglobulin (Ig) construct (sTNFR:Fc) intraperitoneally 2 h prior to K. pneumoniae inoculation resulted in a significant reduction in bronchoalveolar lavage neutrophils, but not macrophages, at 48 h, as compared with animals receiving control IgG1. Furthermore, treatment with sTNFR:Fc resulted in 19.6- and 13.5-fold increases in K. pneumoniae CFU in lung homogenates and plasma, respectively, as compared with animals receiving control IgG1. Finally, treatment of Klebsiella-infected mice with sTNFR:Fc markedly decreased both short- and long-term survival of these animals. In conclusion, our studies indicate that endogenous TNF is a critical component of antibacterial host defense in murine Klebsiella pneumonia.

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