ORCiD

David M. Ojcius: 0000-0003-1461-4495

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Infection and Immunity

ISSN

0019-9567

Volume

70

Issue

5

DOI

10.1128/IAI.70.5.2559-2565.2002

First Page

2559

Last Page

2565

Publication Date

5-1-2002

Abstract

The effect of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) on apoptosis due to infection by Chlamydia muridarum (the mouse pneumonitis strain of Chlamydia trachomatis) was studied in epithelial cells in culture and in the genital tracts of mice. IFN-γ concentrations that induce the formation of aberrant, persistent chlamydiae inhibit apoptosis due to C. muridarum infection. In cells treated with an IFN-γ concentration that leads to the development of a heterogenous population of normal and aberrant Chlamydia vacuoles, apoptosis was inhibited preferentially in cells that contained the aberrant vacuoles. The inhibitory effect of IFN-γ appears to be due in part to expression of host cell indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity, since inhibition of apoptosis could be partially reversed through coincubation with exogenous tryptophan. Apoptotic cells were observed in the genital tracts of wild-type mice infected with C. muridarum, and a significantly larger number of apoptotic cells was detected in infected IFN-γ-deficient mice. These results suggest that IFN-γ may contribute to pathogenesis of persistent Chlamydia infections in vivo by preventing apoptosis of infected cells.

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