Cytokine release by ovine macrophages following infection with Chlamydia psittaci

Gary Entrican, R. Wilkie, P McWaters, Jean-Pierre Scheerlinck, P. R. Wood, J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chlamydia psittaci is an obligate intracellular pathogen that causes abortion in both sheep and humans. The disease in sheep (but not humans) is characterized by a long-term persistent phase that appears to be under the control of interferon-gamma. However, nothing is known about cytokine induction that precedes the persistent phase in sheep. Primary alveolar lavage cells recovered from normal adult sheep were used to study cytokine production in the first 72 h of infection with C. psittaci. These cells were phenotypically characteristic of macrophages, being adherent, phagocytic, CD14+ and staining positive for non-specific esterase. In vitro infection of the macrophages with C. psittaci resulted in the release of IL-1beta, IL-8 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) as measured by ovine-specific ELISAs. Heat-treated chlamydiae (1 h at 65 degrees C) did not induce the release of IL-1beta, but the release of IL-8 was similar to that induced by untreated organisms. The cells from different sheep varied most notably in their patterns of GM-CSF release in response to heat-treated and untreated organisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-15
Number of pages7
JournalClinical & Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlamydophila psittaci
  • Cytokines
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Interleukin-1
  • Interleukin-8
  • Macrophages, Alveolar
  • Psittacosis
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases


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