IL-6-mediated signaling pathways limit Chlamydia muridarum infection and exacerbate its pathogenicity in the mouse genital tract.

Research paper by Xin X Sun, Qi Q Tian, Luying L Wang, Min M Xue, Guangming G Zhong

Indexed on: 03 Sep '17Published on: 03 Sep '17Published in: Microbes and Infection


Chlamydia muridarum induction of mouse hydrosalpinx, depending on both tubal infection and inflammation, has been used for investigating Chlamydia trachomatis pathogenesis. We now report that IL-6 both inhibits C. muridarum infection and exacerbates pathogenicity in the mouse genital tract. When intravaginally inoculated with a high dose of C. muridarum, IL-6-deficient mice developed more extensive genital tract infection with severe hydrosalpinx, suggesting that IL-6 is required for controlling the high dose infection but not essential for C. muridarum-induced pathology. However, at a low dose, IL-6-deficient mice still developed more extensive infection in the genital tract but no longer with significant pathology, suggesting that IL-6 is required for both controlling the low dose infection and exacerbating the low dose infection-induced pathology. The lack of hydrosalpinx in IL-6-deficient mice correlated with significantly reduced inflammatory infiltration in the oviduct tissue and decreased spleen CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that produce TNFα. Thus, IL-6-dependent pathways are important for both limiting chlamydial colonization in the genital tract mucosal tissues regardless of the infection doses and exacerbating chlamydial pathogenicity in the upper genital tract when IL-6-independent pathogenic mechanisms are not yet activated with a low infection dose.