Differential regulation of CD4 lymphocyte recruitment between the upper and lower regions of the genital tract during Chlamydia trachomatis infection

Infect Immun. 2000 Mar;68(3):1519-28. doi: 10.1128/iai.68.3.1519-1528.2000.


Genital infection with Chlamydia trachomatis results in both the local recruitment of protective immune responses and an inflammatory infiltrate that may also participate in tubal pathology. As a beginning to understanding the etiology of immune system-mediated tubal pathology, we evaluated the regional recruitment of lymphocyte subsets to different areas of the female genital tract (GT) over the course of a murine infection with the mouse pneumonitis agent of Chlamydia trachomatis (MoPn). Using flow cytometric techniques we found that the CD4 lymphocyte subset was preferentially recruited to the upper GT (oviduct and uterine horn) over the lower GT (cervical-vaginal region) throughout the course of MoPn infection. The influx of CD4 cells also correlated with the expression of endothelial cell adhesion molecules (ECAMs) and in vitro lymphocyte adherence in the upper GT. Interestingly, the expression of ECAMs in the lower GT was not maintained longer than 7 days after infection, even in the presence of viable chlamydiae. Taken together, these data suggest that regulatory mechanisms of lymphocyte recruitment differ between the upper and lower regions of the GT and may influence the clearance of chlamydiae and the development of tubal pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • Female
  • Genitalia, Female / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mucoproteins / analysis
  • Rats
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Immunoglobulins
  • MADCAM1 protein, human
  • Madcam1 protein, mouse
  • Madcam1 protein, rat
  • Mucoproteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1