High expression of IDO1 and TGF-?1 during recurrence and post infection clearance with Chlamydia trachomatis, are independent of host IFN-? response

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Infectious Diseases, 2019, 19 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Chlamydia trachomatis infections in women continue to be a major public health concern due to their high prevalence and consequent reproductive morbidities. While antibiotics are usually efficient to clear the Chlamydia, repeat infections are common and may contribute to pathological outcomes. Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)-mediated immunity has been suggested to be protective against reinfection, and represent an important anti-chlamydial agent, primarily via the induction of indoleamine-2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) enzyme. IDO1 catalyzes the degradation of tryptophan, which can eliminate C. trachomatis infection in vitro. Here, we sought to measure IDO1 expression levels and related immune markers during different C. trachomatis infection statuses (repeated vs single infection vs post antibiotic treatment), in vitro and in vivo. Methods: In this study, we measured the expression levels of IDO1 and immune regulatory markers, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) and forkhead box P3 (FoxP3), in vaginal swab samples of C. trachomatis-infected women, with either single or repeated infection. In addition, we used an in vitro co-culture model of endometrial carcinoma cell-line and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to measure the same immune markers. Results: We found that in women with repeated C. trachomatis infections vaginal IDO1 and TGF-β1 expression levels were significantly increased. Whereas, women who cleared their infection post antibiotic treatment, had increased levels of IDO1 and TGF-β1, as well as FoxP3. Similarly, using the in vitro model, we found significant upregulation of IDO1 and TGF-β1 levels in the co-culture infected with C. trachomatis. Furthermore, we found that in PBMCs infected with C. trachomatis there was a significant upregulation in IDO1 levels, which was independent of IFN-γ. In fact, C. trachomatis infection in PBMCs failed to induce IFN-γ levels in comparison to the uninfected culture. Conclusions: Our data provide evidence for a regulatory immune response comprised of IDO1, TGF-β1 and FoxP3 in women post antibiotic treatment. In this study, we demonstrated a significant increase in IDO1 expression levels in response to C. trachomatis infection, both in vivo and in vitro, without elevated IFN-γ levels. This study implicates IDO1 and TGF-β1 as part of the immune response to repeated C. trachomatis infections, independently of IFN-γ.
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