Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Lymphotoxin β Receptor Is Essential for Upregulation of IFN-Induced Guanylate-Binding Proteins and Survival after Toxoplasma gondii Infection

2017;2017:7375818. doi: 10.1155/2017/7375818. Epub 2017 Aug 6.

Lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR) signaling plays an important role in efficient initiation of host responses to a variety of pathogens, encompassing viruses, bacteria, and protozoans via induction of the type I interferon response. The present study reveals that after Toxoplasma gondii infection, LTβR-/- mice show a substantially reduced survival rate when compared to wild-type mice. LTβR-/- mice exhibit an increased parasite load and a more pronounced organ pathology. Also, a delayed increase of serum IL-12p40 and a failure of the protective IFNγ response in LTβR-/- mice were observed. Serum NO levels in LTβR-/- animals rose later and were markedly decreased compared to wild-type animals. At the transcriptional level, LTβR-/- animals exhibited a deregulated expression profile of several cytokines known to play a role in activation of innate immunity in T. gondii infection. Importantly, expression of the IFNγ-regulated murine guanylate-binding protein (mGBP) genes was virtually absent in the lungs of LTβR-/- mice. This demonstrates clearly that the LTβR is essential for the induction of a type II IFN-mediated immune response against T. gondii. The pronounced inability to effectively upregulate host defense effector molecules such as GBPs explains the high mortality rates of LTβR-/- animals after T. gondii infection.

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