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Microbes Infect 2016 Dec;18(12):758-67

GM-CSF has disparate roles during intranasal and intradermal F. tularensis infection.

Kurtz SL, Bosio CM, De Pascalis R, Elkins KL


Our laboratory has employed in vitro and in vivo mouse models based on Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS)-induced protection to elucidate immune correlates for intracellular bacteria. Among the effectors found was GM-CSF, a pleiotropic cytokine that is integral to the development and proliferation of myeloid cells, including alveolar macrophages. GM-CSF has roles in resistance to primary murine infection with several intracellular pathogens, but its role during Francisella infection is unknown. Francisella is an intracellular pathogen that infects lungs after inhalation, primarily invading alveolar macrophages. Here we show that GM-CSF has route-dependent roles during primary infection of mice with LVS. GM-CSF deficient (GM-CSF KO) mice were slightly more susceptible than wild type to intradermal infection, but had increased resistance to intranasal infection. Similarly, these mice had increased resistance to pulmonary infection with virulent F. tularensis (SchuS4). LVS-vaccinated GM-CSF KO mice had normal adaptive immune responses, as measured by T cell activities after LVS intradermal or intranasal vaccination, and survived lethal secondary challenge. GM-CSF KO mice also had robust humoral responses, producing elevated levels of serum antibodies following LVS vaccination compared to wild type mice. Taken together, our data demonstrates that the absence of GM-CSF improves resistance to pulmonary, but not intradermal, infection with Francisella.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #27475899 DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2016.07.003
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2016-06-03 Entry Last Modified: 2017-07-25