Introduction: Salmonella spp. are a recognized and global cause of serious health issues from gastroenteritis to invasive disease. The mouse model of human typhoid fever, which uses Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (STM) in susceptible mouse strains, has revealed that the bacteria gain access to extraintestinal tissues from the gastrointestinal tract to cause severe systemic disease. Previous analysis of the immune responses against Salmonella spp. revealed the crucial role played by dendritic cells (DCs) in carrying STM from the intestinal mucosa to the mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs), a key site for antigen presentation and T cell activation. In this study, we investigated the influence of chemokine CCL17 on the dissemination of STM.
Methods: WT, CCL17/EGFP reporter, or CCL17-deficient mice were infected orally with STM (SL1344) or mCherry-expressing STM for 1-3 days. Colocalization of STM with CCL17-expressing DCs in Peyer’s patches (PP) and mLN was analyzed by fluorescence microscopy. In addition, DCs and myeloid cell populations from naïve and Salmonella-infected mice were analyzed by flow cytometry. Bacterial load was determined in PP, mLN, spleen, and liver 1 and 3 days after infection.
Results: Histological analysis revealed that CCL17-expressing cells are located in close proximity to STM in the dome area of PP. We show that, in mLN, STM were preferentially located within CCL17+ rather than CCL17– DCs, besides other mononuclear phagocytes, and identified the CD103+ CD11b– DC subset as the main STM-carrying DC population in the intestine. STM infection triggered upregulation of CCL17 expression in specific intestinal DC subsets in a tissue-specific manner. The dissemination of STM from the gut to the mLN, however, was only moderately influenced by the presence of CCL17.
Conclusion: CCL17-expressing DCs were preferentially infected by Salmonella in the intestine in comparison to other DC. Nevertheless, the production of CCL17 was not essential for the early dissemination of Salmonella from the gut to systemic organs.
Click here to read the article, published in Immunity, Inflammation and Disease.