Involvement of fractalkine/CX3CL1 expression by dendritic cells in the enhancement of host immunity against Legionella pneumophila

Toshiaki Kikuchi, Sita Andarini, Hong Xin, Kazunori Gomi, Yutaka Tokue, Yasuo Saijo, Tasuku Honjo, Akira Watanabe, Toshihiro Nukiwa

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Legionnaires' disease is clinically manifested as severe pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila. However, the dendritic cell (DC)-centered immunological framework of the host defense against L. pneumophila has not been fully delineated. For this study, we focused on a potent chemoattractant for lymphocytes, fractalkine/CX3CL1, and observed that the fractalkine expression of DCs was somewhat up-regulated when they encountered L. pneumophila. We therefore hypothesized that fractalkine expressed by Legionella-capturing DCs is involved in the induction of T-cell-mediated immune responses against Legionella, which would be enhanced by a genetic modulation of DCs to overexpress fractalkine. In vivo immunization-challenge experiments demonstrated that DCs modified with a recombinant adenovirus vector to overexpress fractalkine (AdFKN) and pulsed with heat-killed Legionella protected immunized mice from a lethal Legionella infection and that the generation of in vivo protective immunity depended on the host lymphocyte subsets, including CD4 + T cells, CD8+ T cells, and B cells. Consistent with this, immunization with AdFKN/Legionella/DC induced significantly higher levels of serum anti-Legionella antibodies of several isotypes than those induced by control immunizations. Further analysis of spleen cells from the immunized mice indicated that the AdFKN/Legionella/DC immunization elicited Th1-dominated immune responses to L. pneumophila. These observations suggest that fractalkine may play an important role in the DC-mediated host defense against intracellular pathogens such as L. pneumophila.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5350-5357
    Number of pages8
    JournalInfection and immunity
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sep

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Infectious Diseases

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