The host defense of germfree (GF) mice against primary infection with Listeria monocytogenes was compared with that of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) mice. In SPF mice, the numbers of bacteria in the peritoneal cavity, liver, and spleen decreased gradually to undetectable levels by day 8 after intraperitoneal infection with a sublethal dose (2 x 103 CFU) of L. monocytogenes. On the other hand, the elimination of bacteria in these organs of GF mice was significantly impaired at this stage after inoculation. We have reported previously that T cells coexpressing L- selectin and CD44 play an important role in protection against L. monocytogenes through trafficking to sites of inflammation. Consistent with nut previous findings, the number of unique L-selectin+ CD44+ T cells in the peritoneal cavity was remarkably increased on day 8 after infection in SPF mice, whereas such an increase was not evident in GF mice at this stage. Listeria-specific T-cell proliferation was normally detected in the lymph node cells of GF mice inoculated with L. monocytogenes, whereas the T-cell- proliferative response of the peritoneal exudate cells of GF mice was significantly impaired compared with that of SPF mice. These results suggest that the priming of T cells against listerial antigens normally occurs in the peripheral lymphoid organs of GF mice but the trafficking of the activated T cells to the inflamed sites may be severely impaired in GF mice, resulting in increased susceptibility to infection with L. monocytogenes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases