Differential transcriptional responses between the interferon-gamma-induction and iron-limitation models of persistence for Chlamydia pneumoniae.
ABSTRACT Chlamydia spp. are important pathogens of humans and animals that cause a wide range of acute and chronic infections. A persistence model has been developed in which Chlamydia spp. do not complete their developmental cycle, have significantly reduced infectivity for new host cells, and exhibit abnormal inclusion and reticulate body morphology. This study was performed to compare the interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) induction and iron-limitation models of persistence for Chlamydia spp. to investigate the common and unique transcriptional pathways involved.
A quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction approach was used to compare the IFN-gamma induction and iron-limitation models of Chlamydia pneumoniae persistence at the transcriptional level by analyzing selected genes in each of 5 distinct, functionally relevant subcategories.
The models showed minimal evidence of a general transcriptional stress response in persistence, with only 1 of the 7 genes analyzed in the IFN-gamma induction model (htrA) and 4 of the genes in the iron-limitation model (htrA, clpB, clpP1, ahpC) showing increased mRNA levels. Both models showed similar responses in relation to the genes associated with lack of reticulate body to elementary body conversion (ctcB, lcrH1, and hctB levels were all unchanged or downregulated). The models also showed similar responses to the key cell wall/envelope genes, ompA, omcB, and crpA, exhibiting lower mRNA levels in both models.
These data show that several key transcriptional pathways (lack of late developmental cycle completion, key cell wall components) respond similarly between the models. However, other pathways appear to differ depending on the persistence-inducing mechanism. This result suggests that Chlamydia spp. have evolved more than 1 mechanism to respond to different persistence-inducing conditions, but ultimately the pathways probably converge through a common persistence regulon.
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ABSTRACT: The chlamydiae are obligate intracellular parasites that have evolved specific interactions with their various hosts and host cell types to ensure their successful survival and consequential pathogenesis. The species Chlamydia pneumoniae is ubiquitous, with serological studies showing that most humans are infected at some stage in their lifetime. While most human infections are asymptomatic, C. pneumoniae can cause more severe respiratory disease and pneumonia and has been linked to chronic diseases such as asthma, atherosclerosis and even Alzheimer's. The widely dispersed animal adapted C. pneumoniae strains cause an equally wide range of diseases in their hosts. It is emerging that C. pneumoniae's ability to survive inside its target cells, including evasion of the host's immune attack mechanisms, is linked to the acquisition of key metabolites. Tryptophan and arginine are key checkpoint compounds in this host-parasite battle. Interestingly, the animal strains of C. pneumoniae have a slightly larger genome, enabling them to cope better with metabolite restrictions. It therefore appears that as the evolutionarily more ancient animal strains have evolved to infect humans, they have selectively become more "susceptible" to the levels of key metabolites, such as tryptophan. While this might initially appear to be a weakness, it allows these human C. pneumoniae strains to exquisitely sense host immune attack and respond by rapidly reverting to a persistent phase. During persistence, they reduce their metabolic levels, halting progression of their developmental cycle, waiting until the hostile external conditions have passed before they re-emerge.Journal of bacteriology 03/2014; 196(11). DOI:10.1128/JB.01476-14 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: PROBLEM: Chlamydia trachomatis genital tract infections are easily treated with antibiotics; however, the majority of infections are asymptomatic and therefore untreated, highlighting the need for a vaccine. Because most infections are asymptomatic, vaccination could potentially be administered to individuals who may have an acute infection at that time. In such individuals, the effect of vaccination on the existing infection is unknown; however, one potential outcome could be the development of a persistent infection. In vitro chlamydial persistence has been well characterized in various strains; however, there have been no reported studies in C. muridarum. METHOD OF STUDY: We performed ultrastructural characterization and transcriptome analysis of selected genes. We then used the transcriptional profiles of the selected genes to examine whether intranasal immunization of mice during an active genital infection would induce persistence in the upper reproductive tract of female mice. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We found that persistence developed in the oviducts of mice as a result of immunization. This is a significant finding, not only because it is the first time that C. muridarum persistence has been characterized in vitro, but also due to the fact that there is a minimal characterization of in vivo persistence of any chlamydial species. This highlights the importance of the timing of vaccination in individuals.American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology 02/2013; DOI:10.1111/aji.12093 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The sst1, "supersusceptibility to tuberculosis," locus has previously been shown to be a genetic determinant of host resistance to infection with the intracellular pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Chlamydia pneumoniae is an obligate intracellular bacterium associated with community acquired pneumonia, and chronic infection with C. pneumoniae has been linked to asthma and atherosclerosis. C. pneumoniae is a highly adapted pathogen that can productively infect macrophages and inhibit host cell apoptosis. Here we examined the role of sst1 in regulating the host response to infection with C. pneumoniae. Although mice carrying the sst1 susceptible (sst1(S) ) locus were not impaired in their ability to clear the acute infection, they were dramatically less tolerant of the induced immune response, displaying higher clinical scores, more severe lung inflammation, exaggerated macrophage and neutrophil influx, and the development of fibrosis compared to wild type mice. This correlated with increased activated caspase-3 in the lungs of infected sst1(S) mice. Infection of sst1(S) macrophages with C. pneumoniae resulted in a shift in the secreted cytokine profile towards enhanced production of interferon-β and interleukin-10, and induced apoptotic cell death, which was dependent on secretion of interferon-β. Intriguingly macrophages from the sst1(S) mice failed to support normal chlamydial growth, resulting in arrested development and failure of the organism to complete its infectious cycle. We conclude that the sst1 locus regulates a shared macrophage-mediated innate defense mechanism against diverse intracellular bacterial pathogens. Its susceptibility allele leads to upregulation of type I interferon pathway, which, in the context of C. pneumoniae, results in decreased tolerance, but not resistance, to the infection. Further dissection of the relationship between type I interferons and host tolerance during infection with intracellular pathogens may provide identification of biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets.PLoS Pathogens 08/2013; 9(8):e1003569. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003569 · 8.06 Impact Factor