Plac8-Dependent and Inducible NO Synthase-Dependent Mechanisms Clear Chlamydia muridarum Infections from the Genital Tract

Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 02/2012; 188(4):1896-904. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1102764
Source: PubMed


Chlamydia trachomatis urogenital serovars replicate predominantly in genital tract epithelium. This tissue tropism poses a unique challenge for host defense and vaccine development. Studies utilizing the Chlamydia muridarum mouse model have shown that CD4 T cells are critical for clearing genital tract infections. In vitro studies have shown that CD4 T cells terminate infection by upregulating epithelial inducible NO synthase (iNOS) transcription and NO production. However, this mechanism is not critical, as iNOS-deficient mice clear infections normally. We recently showed that a subset of Chlamydia-specific CD4 T cell clones could terminate replication in epithelial cells using an iNOS-independent mechanism requiring T cell degranulation. We advance that work using microarrays to compare iNOS-dependent and iNOS-independent CD4 T cell clones. Plac8 was differentially expressed by clones having the iNOS-independent mechanism. Plac8-deficient mice had delayed clearance of infection, and Plac8-deficient mice treated with the iNOS inhibitor N-monomethyl-l-arginine were largely unable to resolve genital tract infections over 8 wk. These results demonstrate that there are two independent and redundant T cell mechanisms for clearing C. muridarum genital tract infections: one dependent on iNOS, and the other dependent on Plac8. Although T cell subsets are routinely defined by cytokine profiles, there may be important subdivisions by effector function, in this case CD4(Plac8).

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Available from: James E Slaven, Jan 29, 2015
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    • "Had the Plac8-dependent mechanism been dependent on perforin, we would have expected MLA-treated perforin knockout mice to shed Chlamydia throughout the 8th week of the experiment; they did not. The delayed clearance in untreated or MLA-treated perforin knockout mice compared to wild type mice is unlikely to represent a compromised Plac8-dependent clearance mechanism that is strongly associated with the in vitro degranulation-dependent termination mechanism [13], [16]. Perforin’s contribution to bacterial clearance is not likely occurring through enhancing CD4 T cell termination of Chlamydia replication in epithelial cells as it does not appear to relevant to the Plac8-dependent mechanism and is detrimental to the iNOS-dependent mechanism. "
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    ABSTRACT: CD4 T cells are critical for clearing experimental Chlamydia muridarum genital tract infections. Two independent in vitro CD4 T cell mechanisms have been identified for terminating Chlamydia replication in epithelial cells. One mechanism, requiring IFN-γ and T cell-epithelial cell contact, terminates infection by triggering epithelial production of nitric oxide to chlamydiacidal levels; the second is dependent on T cell degranulation. We recently demonstrated that there are two independent in vivo clearance mechanisms singly sufficient for clearing genital tract infections within six weeks; one dependent on iNOS, the other on Plac8. Redundant genital tract clearance mechanisms bring into question negative results in single-gene knockout mice. Two groups have shown that perforin-knockout mice were not compromised in their ability to clear C. muridarum genital tract infections. Because cell lysis would be detrimental to epithelial nitric oxide production we hypothesized that perforin was not critical for iNOS-dependent clearance, but posited that perforin could play a role in Plac8-dependent clearance. We tested whether the Plac8-dependent clearance was perforin-dependent by pharmacologically inhibiting iNOS in perforin-knockout mice. In vitro we found that perforin was detrimental to iNOS-dependent CD4 T cell termination of Chlamydia replication in epithelial cells. In vivo, unexpectedly, clearance in perforin knockout mice was delayed to the end of week 7 regardless of iNOS status. The discordant in vitro/in vivo results suggest that the perforin's contribution to bacterial clearance in vivo is not though enhancing CD4 T cell termination of Chlamydia replication in epithelial cells, but likely via a mechanism independent of T cell-epithelial cell interactions.
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