Title

The Role of the IL-23/IL-17 axis and neutrophils during infection with Listeria monocytogenes

Date of Award

5-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Rance Berg, Ph.D

Abstract

Infection with the gram-positive, intracellular bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes (LM) induces a pro-inflammatory cytokine environment and inflammatory cell influx to sites of infection. The cytokine IL-23 is involved in the maintenance of IL-17A and IL-17F secreting cells which are indirectly required for the recruitment of neutrophils during infection. Neutrophils are thought to be essential for resistance against LM infection; however, their specific role during LM Infection has yet to be defined. By using knockout mice that are deficient in IL-23 or the IL-17 receptor-A, thus devoid of IL-17A and IL-17F signaling, we demonstrate a protective role for the IL-23/IL-17 axis during infection with LM. Our data suggest that the IL-23/IL-17 axis can regulate the continual recruitment of neutrophils into the liver. Furthermore, we demonstrate a protective role for neutrophils. Neutrophils can produce TNF-α, but not IFN-γ during LM infection. Collectively, these data indicate that the IL-23/IL-17 axis and neutrophils are required for resistance against LM infection

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