Differences in interleukin-12 and -15 production by dendritic cells at the early stage of Listeria monocytogenes infection between BALB/c and C57 BL/6 mice

Cell Immunol. 2000 May 25;202(1):31-40. doi: 10.1006/cimm.2000.1644.


The mechanisms responsible for the resistance of C57BL/6 mice and for the susceptibility of BALB/c mice to infection with Listeria monocytogenes were studied by comparing early IL-12 and IL-15 production by dendritic cells (DC) after infection with L. monocytogenes. Splenic DC expressing CD11b(low) and CD11c(+) obtained from C57BL/6 mice at 3 and 6 h after L. monocytogenes infection expressed higher levels of IL-12 p40 mRNA and IL-12 p40 protein than did those from BALB/c mice. Concurrently, a larger amount of IFN-gamma was produced by the splenic T cells from C57BL/6 mice in response to immobilized anti-TCRalphabeta mAb than by those from BALB/c mice, while the splenic T cells from BALB/c mice produced a higher level of IL-4 upon TCR alphabeta stimulation than did those of C57BL/6 mice. IL-15 mRNA and intracellular IL-15 protein were detected more abundantly in the DC from C57BL/6 mice than in those from BALB/c mice on day 3 after infection. CD3(+) IL2Rbeta (+) cells in the spleen were increased in C57BL/6 mice but not in BALB/c mice at the early stage after infection. Furthermore, IL-12Rbeta2 gene expression was up-regulated in T cells from C57BL/6 mice but not in those from BALB/c mice at the early stage after listerial infection. These results suggest that the difference in early production of IL-12 and IL-15 by DC may at least partly underlie the difference in susceptibility to L. monocytogenes between C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-15 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Listeriosis / immunology*
  • Listeriosis / mortality
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Species Specificity
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Time Factors


  • Interleukin-15
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma