The study of the role of TNF-alpha following primary and secondary infection with genital Chlamydia muridarum
The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-&agr;) in host defense against chlamydial infection remains unclear. Some studies have suggested that TNF-&agr; may be important based on the observation of delayed resolution of chlamydial infection in TNF-&agr;R deficient mice. However, in contradiction is a report showing minimal difference in vaginal Chlamydia clearance between wild type and antibody depleted TNF-&agr; deficient mice. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the mechanistic role of TNF-&agr; in host defense following primary and secondary infection with Chlamydia muridarum in wild type and TNF-&agr; deficient mice. We observed that TNF-&agr; deficient mice show comparable levels of antibody and chlamydial clearance after both primary and secondary infection to wild type animals. From the cell mediated and humoral responses analyses, it was determined that TNF-&agr; and IFN-gamma acted independent of each other, and there is no synergistic mechanisms of action in protective immunity. Collectively, this study suggests that TNF-&agr; may not play a significant role in the clearance of genital chlamydial infection.