Chemokine Expression during Listeria monocytogenes Infection in Severe Combined Immune Deficient (SCID) Mice
Tongren, Jon Eric
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Rapid immunological cellular migration in response to infection by a pathogenic organism is crucial in the proper induction of an immune response and the eventual clearance of the microbe. In the model of Listeria monocytogenes infection in mice, the acute cellular influx to a site of infection is characterized by rapid neutrophil and monocyte infiltration followed by the appearance of Natural Killer (NK) cells, T and B lymphocytes. A new family of cytokines, the chemotactic cytokines or chemokines, has been identified whose members specifically attract the above cell types. In this study, we have evaluated the expression of these chemotactic cytokines in the livers and spleens of Listeria infected mice via PCR and Northern Blotting. The PCR demonstrated that KC, JE, MlPlα and MIP1β are all rapidly induced. Northern blot analysis supports this rapid induction and shows chemokine expression to reach peak levels as early as approximately 2 hours after infection. Expression of these cytokines could be the major event involved in initiating the acute inflammatory response against an invading microorganism. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the cellular infiltration associated with the acute inflammatory response is important because the chemokines ultimately control the localized effects of the specific immune cells by integrating and coordinating their migration.