Immunomodulatory role of endogenous interleukin-18 in gamma interferon-mediated resolution of replicative Legionella pneumophila lung infection.

Infection and Immunity
J K BrielandA O'Garra

Abstract

The in vivo role of endogenous interleukin-18 (IL-18) in modulating gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-mediated resolution of replicative Legionella pneumophila lung infection was assessed using a murine model of Legionnaires' disease. Intratracheal inoculation of A/J mice with virulent bacteria (10(6) L. pneumophila organisms per mouse) resulted in induction of IL-18 protein in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and intrapulmonary expression of IL-18 mRNA. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR analysis of infected lung tissue demonstrated that induction of IL-18 in BALF preceded induction of IL-12 and IFN-gamma mRNAs in the lung. Blocking intrapulmonary IL-18 activity by administration of a monoclonal antibody (MAb) to the IL-18 receptor (anti-IL-18R MAb) prior to L. pneumophila infection inhibited induction of intrapulmonary IFN-gamma production but did not significantly alter resolution of replicative L. pneumophila lung infection. In contrast, blocking endogenous IL-12 activity by administration of anti-IL-12 MAb) alone or in combination with anti-IL-18R MAb inhibited induction of intrapulmonary IFN-gamma and resulted in enhanced intrapulmonary growth of the bacteria within 5 days postinfection. Taken together, these results demonstrate...Continue Reading

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