Immunization with dendritic cells pulsed ex vivo with antigens has been successfully used to elicit primary antigen-specific immune responses. We report that mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells pulsed with inactivated chlamydial organisms induced strong protection against live chlamydial infection in a mouse lung infection model. Either the dendritic cells or chlamydial organisms alone or macrophages similarly pulsed with chlamydial organisms failed to induce any significant protection. These observations suggest that dendritic cells can efficiently process and present chlamydial antigens to naive T cells in vivo. Mice immunized with the chlamydia-pulsed dendritic cells preferentially developed a Th1 cell-dominant response while mice immunized with the other immunogens did not, suggesting a correlation between a Th1 cell-dominant response and protection against chlamydial infection. We further found that dendritic cells produced a large amount of interleukin 12 (IL-12) upon ex vivo pulsing with inactivated chlamydial organisms, which may allow the dendritic cells to direct a Th1 cell-dominant response. Dendritic cells from mice deficient in the IL-12 p40 gene failed to produce IL-12 after a similar ex vivo pulse with chlamydial organisms, and more importantly, immunization with these dendritic cells failed to induce a Th1 cell-dominant response and did not induce strong protection against chlamydial infection. Thus, the ability of dendritic cells to efficiently process and present chlamydial antigens and to produce IL-12 upon chlamydial- organism stimulation are both required for the induction of protection against chlamydial infection. This information may be useful for the further design of effective chlamydial vaccines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases