Survival of secondary lethal systemic Francisella LVS challenge depends largely on interferon gamma

Laboratory of Mycobacterial Diseases and Cellular Immunology, Division of Bacterial, Parasitic, and Allergenic Products, CBER/FDA, HFM 431, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.
Microbes and Infection (Impact Factor: 2.86). 09/2009; 12(1):28-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2009.09.012
Source: PubMed


Although survival of primary infection with the live vaccine strain (LVS) of Francisella tularensis depends on interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), the relative importance of IFN-gamma to secondary protective immunity in vivo has not been clearly established. Here we examine the role of IFN-gamma in T cell priming and expression of vaccine-induced protection against lethal intraperitoneal challenge of mice. Large amounts of IFN-gamma were detected between days 3 and 7 in the sera of LVS-immunized mice, while relatively small amounts were found transiently after secondary LVS challenge. Consistent with the production of this cytokine, mice lacking IFN-gamma (gamma interferon knockout, GKO, mice) could not be successfully vaccinated with LVS or an attenuated mglA mutant of F. novicida to withstand secondary Francisella LVS challenge. Further, splenocytes from such primed mice did not adoptively transfer protection to naive GKO recipient mice in vivo, nor control the intramacrophage growth of LVS in vitro. Finally, LVS-immune WT mice depleted of IFN-gamma prior to intraperitoneal challenge survived only the lowest doses of challenge. Thus successful priming of protective LVS-immune T cells, as well as complete expression of protection against Francisella during secondary challenge, depends heavily on IFN-gamma.

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    • "Relative gene expression of a number of immune mediators in cells recovered from cocultures containing Francisella-immune lymphocytes with LVS-infected macrophages reflected the strength of in vivo protection[15]. IFN-and TNF-were identified among these mediators, and have previously been shown to be important for host resistance to LVS[5,16]. IL-12R2 was also identified as a mediator, and was strongly up-regulated to a greater extent in spleens and livers of LVS-immune lymphocytes compared to the less-protective immune lymphocytes . In the current study, we therefore investigate the direct role that IL-12R2 plays in host resistance to F. tularensis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using a panel of vaccines that provided different degrees of protection, we previously identified the IL-12 receptor subunit β2 as a mediator, whose relative expression correlated with strength of protection against secondary lethal challenge of vaccinated mice with an intracellular bacterium, the LVS of Francisella tularensis. The present study therefore tested the hypothesis that IL-12Rβ2 is an important mediator in resistance to LVS by directly examining its role during infections. IL-12Rβ2 KO mice were highly susceptible to LVS primary infection, administered i.d. or i.n. The LD(50) of LVS infection of KO mice were 2 logs lower than those of WT mice, regardless of route. Five days after infection with LVS, bacterial organ burdens were significantly higher in IL-12Rβ2 KO mice. IL-12Rβ2 KO mice infected with lethal doses of LVS had more severe liver pathology, including significant increases in the liver enzymes ALT and AST. Despite decreased levels of IFN-γ, LVS-vaccinated IL-12Rβ2 KO mice survived large lethal LVS secondary challenge. Consistent with in vivo protection, in vitro intramacrophage LVS growth was well-controlled in cocultures containing WT or IL-12Rβ2 KO LVS-immune splenocytes. Thus, survival of secondary LVS challenge was not strictly dependent on IL-12Rβ2. However, IL-12Rβ2 is important in parenteral and mucosal host resistance to primary LVS infection and in the ability of WT mice to clear LVS infection and serves to restrict liver damage.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Journal of leukocyte biology
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    ABSTRACT: Protection against the intracellular bacterium Francisella tularensis within weeks of vaccination is thought to involve both cellular and humoral immune responses. However, the relative roles for cellular and humoral immunity in long lived protection against virulent F. tularensis are not well established. Here, we dissected the correlates of immunity to pulmonary infection with virulent F. tularensis strain SchuS4 in mice challenged 30 and 90 days after subcutaneous vaccination with LVS. Regardless of the time of challenge, LVS vaccination protected approximately 90% of SchuS4 infected animals. Surprisingly, control of bacterial replication in the lung during the first 7 days of infection was not required for survival of SchuS4 infection in vaccinated mice. Control and survival of virulent F. tularensis strain SchuS4 infection within 30 days of vaccination was associated with high titers of SchuS4 agglutinating antibodies, and IFN-γ production by multiple cell types in both the lung and spleen. In contrast, survival of SchuS4 infection 90 days after vaccination was correlated only with IFN-γ producing splenocytes and activated T cells in the spleen. Together these data demonstrate that functional agglutinating antibodies and strong mucosal immunity are correlated with early control of pulmonary infections with virulent F. tularensis. However, early mucosal immunity may not be required to survive F. tularensis infection. Instead, survival of SchuS4 infection at extended time points after immunization was only associated with production of IFN-γ and activation of T cells in peripheral organs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Vaccine
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, studies on the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis have greatly intensified, generating a wealth of new information on the interaction of this organism with the immune system. Here we review the basic elements of the innate and adaptive immune responses that contribute to protective immunity against Francisella species, with special emphasis on new data that has emerged in the last 5 years. Most studies have utilized the mouse model of infection, although there has been an expansion of work on human cells and other new animal models. In mice, basic immune parameters that operate in defense against other intracellular pathogen infections, such as interferon gamma, TNF-α, and reactive nitrogen intermediates, are central for control of Francisella infection. However, new important immune mediators have been revealed, including IL-17A, Toll-like receptor 2, and the inflammasome. Further, a variety of cell types in addition to macrophages are now recognized to support Francisella growth, including epithelial cells and dendritic cells. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells are clearly important for control of primary infection and vaccine-induced protection, but new T cell subpopulations and the mechanisms employed by T cells are only beginning to be defined. A significant role for B cells and specific antibodies has been established, although their contribution varies greatly between bacterial strains of lower and higher virulence. Overall, recent data profile a pathogen that is adept at subverting host immune responses, but susceptible to many elements of the immune system's antimicrobial arsenal.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Frontiers in Microbiology
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