ABSTRACT: IFN-γ-mediated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression is critical for controlling chlamydial infection through microbicidal nitric oxide (NO) production. Interleukin-17A (IL-17A), as a new proinflammatory cytokine, has been shown to play a protective role in host defense against Chlamydia muridarum (Cm) infection. To define the related mechanism, we investigated, in the present study, the effect of IL-17A on IFN-γ induced iNOS expression and NO production during Cm infection in vitro and in vivo. Our data showed that IL-17A significantly enhanced IFN-γ-induced iNOS expression and NO production and inhibited Cm growth in Cm-infected murine lung epithelial (TC-1) cells. The synergistic effect of IL-17A and IFN-γ on Chlamydia clearance from TC-1 cells correlated with iNOS induction. Since one of the main antimicrobial mechanisms of activated macrophages is the release of NO, we also examined the inhibitory effect of IL-17A and IFN-γ on Cm growth in peritoneal macrophages. IL-17A (10 ng/ml) synergizes with IFN-γ (200 U/ml) in macrophages to inhibit Cm growth. This effect was largely reversed by aminoguanidine (AG), an iNOS inhibitor. Finally, neutralization of IL-17A in Cm infected mice resulted in reduced iNOS expression in the lung and higher Cm growth. Taken together, the results indicate that IL-17A and IFN-γ play a synergistic role in inhibiting chlamydial lung infection, at least partially through enhancing iNOS expression and NO production in epithelial cells and macrophages.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e39214. · 4.09 Impact Factor