Indexed on: 05 Feb '08Published on: 05 Feb '08Published in: Comparative Immunology, Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections in mouse mammary glands are rarely described and poorly characterized. In order to investigate the host immune response during coliform mastitis, several inflammatory parameters were evaluated at 24 and 48h following inoculation of mouse mammary glands with E. coli. Successfully challenged mice showed high values of the acute phase protein serum amyloid A (SAA) in blood. Systemic concentrations of the major inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were also increased as compared to control mice, while interleukin-1 (IL-1) levels remained negligible. Infected mammary glands showed a significant increase of all cytokine levels as compared to control glands. In accordance, mammary expression of the biologically inactive proform of IL-1beta was strongly up-regulated. Remarkably, data obtained in wild type as well as caspase-1 knockout mice showed that IL-1beta maturation seemed to occur independently from caspase-1. Finally, E. coli infection also triggered activation of the nuclear transcription factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in the mammary gland. In conclusion, the current study provides novel insights on the contribution of major regulatory proteins to the acute inflammatory host response at the local and systemic level during E. coli mastitis in mice.