Contribution of Neutrophils and Cell-Mediated Immunity to Control of Nocardia Asteroides in Murine Lungs

Gregory A. Filice, Dennis E. Niewoehner

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To distinguish between the contributions of neutrophils and cell-mediated immunity to defense against Nocardia asteroides in the lung, we induced pneumonia in BALB/c mice by intranasal inoculation. Westudied the course of pneumonia by histology, bronchoalveolar lavage, and quantification of colony-forming units in lungs. Mice with intact host defenses had an initial inflammatory response, consisting mostly of neutrophils, followed by a mononuclear cell infiltrate. Nocardiae were eradicated during the seven days after inoculation. Mice in which the early, predominately neutrophil inflammatory response was prevented with mechlorethamine or antiserum to neutrophils had little inflammation, and nocardiae grewextensively. Mice in which cell-mediated immunity was impaired with cyclosporin A or cortisone acetate developed abscesses; neutrophils were abundant, but nocardiae proliferated. The occurrence of these three separate and distinct patterns suggested that both neutrophils and cell-mediated immunity are necessary for optimal control of N. asteroides infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1987

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Veterans Administration and the Minnesota Medical Foundation.


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