Author(s): Lu H, Shen C, Brunham RC
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Th1 cells that secrete IFN-gamma are particularly important in protective immunity against intracellular pathogens, including chlamydiae, and IL-18 together with IL-12 are strong inducers of IFN-gamma secretion by CD4 T cells. Because epithelial cells are known to synthesize IL-18, we investigated the effects of Chlamydia trachomatis infection of human epithelial cell lines on IL-18 secretion. We confirmed that several human epithelial cell lines constitutively express pro-IL-18 and that C. trachomatis infection causes cells to secrete mature IL-18. This was observed for several different serovars and biovars of C. trachomatis. Chlamydia-induced secretion of IL-18 from epithelial cells was regulated at the posttranscriptional level and was dependent on the activation of caspase-1. IL-1alpha or other secreted factor(s) from chlamydia-infected epithelial cells as well as chlamydial structural component(s) were not involved in inducing IL-18 secretion. Activation of caspase-1 and increased secretion of mature IL-18 was correlated with chlamydial, but not with host protein synthesis. In contrast to epithelial cell lines, fibroblast cell lines constitutively expressed much lower levels of pro-IL-18 and did not secrete mature IL-18 after chlamydial infection even though caspase-1 was activated. Taken together, the results suggest that a chlamydia-derived factor(s) is essential for the secretion of mature IL-18 through caspase-1 activation in infected epithelial cells.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Global Journal of Technology and Optimization