Interleukin-27 (IL-27) Promotes Chlamydial Infection in the Female Genital Tract

Yujie Zhao, Zhi Huo, Zengzi Zhou, Christian Cervantes, Jianlin Chen, Zhenming Xu, Guangming Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intravaginal infection of mice with Chlamydia muridarum has been used for investigating the mechanisms of Chlamydia trachomatis-induced pathogenicity and immune responses. In the current study, the mouse model was used to evaluate the impact of interleukin-27 (IL-27) and its receptor signaling on the susceptibility of the female genital tract to chlamydial infection. Mice deficient in IL-27 developed significantly shortened courses of chlamydial infection in the female genital tract. The titers of live Chlamydia recovered from the genital tract of IL-27-deficient mice declined significantly by day 7 following intravaginal inoculation. These observations suggest that IL-27 may promote chlamydial infection in the female mouse genital tract. This conclusion was validated using IL-27 receptor (R)-deficient mice. Further, the reduction in chlamydial burden corelated with the increase in gamma interferon (IFN-g) and IL-17 in the genital tract tissues of the IL-27R-deificent mice. However, depletion of IFN-g but not IL-17 from the IL-27R-deificent mice significantly increased the chlamydial burden, indicating that IL-27 may mainly suppress IFN-g-mediated immunity for promoting chlamydial infection. Finally, knockout of IL-27R from T cells alone was sufficient for significantly shortening the infectious shedding courses of Chlamydia in the mouse genital tract. The above-described results have demonstrated that Chlamydia can activate IL-27R signaling in Th1-like cells for promoting its infection in the female genital tract, suggesting that attenuating IL-27 signaling in T cells may be used for enhancing genital tract immunity against chlamydial infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume90
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Chlamydia
  • Genital tract infection
  • IL-27
  • IL-27R
  • Inhibition
  • Th1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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