Cellular immunity to the mouse pneumonitis agent

J Infect Dis. 1984 Apr;149(4):630-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/149.4.630.


During infection with the mouse pneumonitis biovar of Chlamydia trachomatis, heterozygous (nu/+) mice with relatively intact T cell function develop both delayed hypersensitivity to C trachomatis antigen and antigen-specific lymphocyte transformation, whereas athymic nude (nu/nu) mice do not. Nu/nu mice are protected against death from mouse pneumonitis by transfer of immune T cells from nu/+ mice, which are more resistant to C trachomatis. While this enables athymic mice to make antibody to C trachomatis (which does not occur without reconstitution), resistance correlates best with development of antigen-specific lymphocyte transformation in the recipient animals. During infection nu/+ mice develop activated alveolar macrophages (by both morphological and functional criteria) while nu/nu mice do not. Nu/+ mice that have been preinfected with Histoplasma capsulatum to activate cellular immunity become more resistant to C trachomatis than do nu/+ controls. Cell-mediated immunity to C trachomatis pneumonia is T cell dependent and is important in host defense.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Chlamydia Infections / immunology*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / immunology
  • Female
  • Gold / pharmacology
  • Gold Sodium Thiosulfate / pharmacology
  • Histoplasmosis / immunology
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • Pneumonia / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Gold
  • Gold Sodium Thiosulfate