Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection is more severe in Th2 responding BALB/c mice compared to Th1 responding C3H/HeN mice

APMIS. 1997 Nov;105(11):838-42.


The chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection in cystic fibrosis (CF) is characterized by a pronounced antibody response and microcolonies surrounded by numerous polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). Poor prognosis is correlated with a high antibody response to P. aeruginosa antigens. An animal model of this infection was established in two strains of mice: C3H/HeN and BALB/c, generally known as Th1 and Th2 responders, respectively, which were challenged with alginate-embedded P. aeruginosa. Mortality was significantly lower in C3H/HeN compared to BALB/c mice (p < 0.025). P. aeruginosa was cleared more efficiently in C3H/HeN mice and significantly more C3H/HeN mice showed normal lung histopathology (p < 0.02), and we found significantly fewer microabscesses in C3H/HeN mice than in BALB/c mice (p < 0.005). In supernatants from P. aeruginosa antigen and concanavalin A-stimulated spleen cells from the two strains of mice, the interferon-(IFN-) gamma levels were higher, whereas IL-4 levels were lower in C3H/HeN mice than in BALB/c mice. The implications of these findings for CF patients with chronic P. aeruginosa lung infection are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C / immunology
  • Mice, Inbred C3H / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / immunology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*


  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma