We tested the hypothesis that a specific chemokine receptor, CXC chemokine receptor-2 (CXCR2), mediates acute inflammatory damage during chlamydial urogenital infection, which ultimately leads to the chronic sequelae of hydrosalpinx - a surrogate marker of infertility. Homozygous CXCR2 genetic knockouts (CXCR2-/-), heterozygous littermates (CXCR2+/-) or homozygous wild-type (wt) controls (CXCR2+/+) were infected intravaginally with Chlamydia muridarum. Although no change was observed in the infection in the lower genital tract based on CXCR zygosity, a delay in the ascension of infection into the upper genital tract was seen in CXCR2-/- mice. Significantly elevated peripheral blood neutrophil counts were observed in CXCR2-/- mice when compared with controls. Reduced rates of acute inflammatory indices were observed in the affected tissue, indicating reduced neutrophil extravasation capacity in the absence of CXCR2. Of note was a reduction in the postinfection development of hydrosalpinx that correlated with CXCR2 zygosity, with both CXCR2-/- (13%) and their CXCR2+/- (35%) littermates displaying significantly lower rates of hydrosalpinx formation than the wt CXCR2-sufficient mice (93%). We conclude that CXCR2 ligands are a major chemotactic signal that induces damaging acute inflammation and the resulting chronic pathology during the repair phase of the host response, but are dispensable for the resolution of infection.
© 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.