Objective Investigation of the effects of interleukin (IL)-17 cytokines in Chlamydophila pneumoniae-infected mice. Methods Mice were infected with C. pneumoniae once or three times and the expression of IL-17 cytokines was followed by RT qPCR from day 1 to day 28 after infection and re-infection. After the treatment of mice with anti-IL- 17A, ELISA was used to detect the differences in cytokine and chemokine production. The number and phenotype of the IL-17A-producing cells were determined by ELISPOT. Results Chlamydophila pneumoniae induced IL-17A and IL-17F from day 2 after infection, and their levels remained elevated on day 28. The expression of IL-17C, IL-17D and IL-17E mRNA did not change significantly in response to a single infection. The in vivo neutralization of IL-17A resulted in a higher C. pneumoniae burden in the mouse lungs, a decreased cell influx, and diminished chemokine levels. The phenotype of IL-17A-producing cells was CD4?. The re-infection of mice led to an increased expression of IL-17E mRNA. Conclusion These results facilitate an understanding of the early inflammatory response after C. pneumoniae infection and suggest that C. pneumoniae re-infection induces the production of a high amount of IL-17E, which has an important role in the pathogenesis of allergic pulmonary diseases.
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