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Volume 41, Number 3, June 2008

Temporal cytokine profiling of Francisella tularensis-infected human peripheral blood mononuclear cells


Chrysanthi Paranavitana, Phillip Pittman, Mahendran Velauthapillai, Luis DaSilva
Department of Bacterial and Rickettsial Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD; Medical Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Frederick, MD; Department of Computer Sciences, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; and Center for Aerobiological Sciences, United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Frederick, MD, United States

Received: July 24, 2007    Revised: August 19, 2007    Accepted: September 28, 2007   

 

Corresponding author:

Dr. Chrysanthi Paranavitana, Department of Bacterial and Rickettsial Diseases, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Building 503, Room 2N59 503, Robert Grant Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, United States. E-mail: Dr. Chrysanthi Paranavitana This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
 



 

Background and purpose: 

Francisella tularensis is an intracellular bacterium known to replicate in monocytes and macrophages and cause tularemia in humans. Because of its infectious nature, F. tularensis is considered a biowarfare agent. Early cytokine profiles of Francisella-infected human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were evaluated.

 



 

Methods:

Populations of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were infected in vitro with F. tularensis live vaccine strain at a very low multiplicity of infection of 1:10 (bacteria:cells). A multiplex bead kit which analyzes 30 cytokines, chemokines and growth factors was utilized to measure secreted cytokines in cell supernatants 1, 4, 8, 16, and 24 h post-infection.

 



 

Results:

Compared with uninfected controls, infected cells showed no increase in cytokine secretion at 1 and 4 h, implying a threshold for activation of immune responses. Starting at 8 h post-infection and continuing through to 24 h, an array of cytokines and growth factors was secreted by the infected cells. Some cytokines not previously associated with Francisella infection in humans were detected at 8 h, including interleukin-17 and interleukin-1 receptor agonist and vascular endothelial growth factor.

 



 

Conclusion:

The cytokine profiles of F. tularensis-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells indicate an intricate pattern of both pro- and anti-inflammatory responses, including early T-cell activation.



 

Key words:

Cytokines; Francisella tularensis; Immunity, cellular; Macrophages; Tularemia

 



 

J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2008;41:192-199.