Early local cytokine profiles in strains of mice with different outcomes from chlamydial genital tract infection

Infect Immun. 2001 Jun;69(6):3556-61. doi: 10.1128/IAI.69.6.3556-3561.2001.


In this study, we expand on the examination of genetically determined differences in host responses that correlate with clearance of Chlamydia trachomatis from the genital tract. We infected C57BL/6, BALB/c, and C3H/HeN mice with the mouse pneumonitis agent of C. trachomatis (MoPn). C57BL/6 mice had the shortest course of infection (22 days) and the lowest incidence of severe hydrosalpinx. BALB/c mice also had a short course of infection (25 days), but all developed hydrosalpinx. C3H/HeN mice had the longest course of infection (38 days), and all developed severe hydrosalpinx. Determination of local cytokine responses by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) of genital tract secretions revealed that the levels of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) were significantly increased in the C57BL/6 and BALB/c strains compared to those in the C3H/HeN strain whereas the level of IL-6 was not different. The level of the neutrophil chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) was increased during the first week of infection in all three strains but was significantly higher in the BALB/c strain, the strain with the most rapid influx of neutrophils into the genital tract. Prolonged detection of MIP-2 in C3H/HeN mice was associated with a protracted presence of neutrophils in the genital tract. Early increases in the levels of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-1beta are associated with earlier eradication of infection in the C57BL/6 and BALB/c strains than in the C3H/HeN strain. Increased levels of MIP-2 and neutrophils in BALB/c and C3H/HeN mice relative to C57BL/6 mice suggest that these responses may contribute to pathology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CXCL2
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology*
  • Chlamydia Infections / microbiology
  • Chlamydia Infections / pathology
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / immunology*
  • Genital Diseases, Female / microbiology
  • Genital Diseases, Female / pathology
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutrophils / immunology


  • Chemokine CXCL2
  • Chemokines
  • Cxcl2 protein, mouse
  • Cytokines
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor