Veterinary immunology and immunopathology

Late production of CXCL8 in ruminant oro-nasal turbinate cells in response to Chlamydia abortus infection.

PMID 26342452


Chlamydia abortus is an obligate intracellular bacterium that is an important cause of ovine abortion worldwide. There are reports of abortions in cattle, but these are very rare compared to the reported incidence in sheep. The bacterium is transmitted oro-nasally and can establish a sub-clinical infection until pregnancy, when it can invade the placenta and induce an inflammatory cascade leading to placentitis and abortion. Early host-pathogen interactions could explain differential pathogenesis and subsequent disease outcome in ruminant species. In this study, we assessed the ability of sheep and cattle oro-nasal turbinate cells to sense and respond to C. abortus infection. The cells expressed toll like receptor (TLR) 2, TLR4, nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD) 1 and NOD-like receptor pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3) mRNA. In response to C. abortus infection, both ovine and bovine turbinate cells produce CXCL8 mRNA and protein late in the bacterial developmental cycle, but do not produce IL-1β or TNF-α. The UV-inactivated bacteria did not elicit a CXCL8 response, suggesting that intracellular multiplication of the bacteria is important for activating the signalling pathways. The production of innate immune cytokines from cattle and sheep turbinate cells in response to C. abortus infection was found to be largely similar.