Immunosuppression induced by attenuated Salmonella: Effect of LPS responsiveness on development of suppression

Basel K. Al-Ramadi, Joyce M. Greene, Joseph J. Meissler, Toby K. Eisenstein

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22 Citations (Scopus)


A live, avirulent strain of Salmonella typhimurium, SL3235, was previously shown to afford protection against virulent Salmonella challenge in three mouse strains of the C3H lineage, C3H/HeJ, C3HeB/FeJ, and C3H/HeNCrlBR, which differ in their innate susceptibility to Salmonella infection, as well as in their responsiveness to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Concurrent with protection, however, SL3235 was found to induce > 90% reduction in proliferative responses of splenocytes from immunized mice to a panel of B and T cell mitogens. Suppression appeared to be independent of susceptibility to Salmonella infection, since the mitogenic responses of hypersusceptible C3H/HeJ and C3HeB/FeJ, as well as resistant C3H/HeNCrlBR mice, were suppressed. The suppressor cell population in immunized C3HeB/FeJ mice was recently shown to be of monocytic lineage. Using transwell plates, co-culture studies indicated that suppression was mediated by soluble factors. In the present study, the effect of LPS responsiveness on susceptibility to SL3235-induced suppression was evaluated in C3H mice by studying their ability to mount plaque-forming cell (PFC) responses to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) and in vivo antibody responses to tetanus toxoid. Comparison of PFC responses as a function of SL3235 dose in C3HeB/FeJ and C3H/HeJ mice, revealed that the latter strain was markedly more resistant to the development of suppression, as evidenced by the significantly higher (10-35-fold) SL3235 doses needed to achieve comparable suppression to those seen in C3HeB/FeJ mice. In contrast to C3HeB/FeJ mice, suppression in C3H/HeJ mice required direct cell-cell contact. In both mouse strains, suppression was alleviated by pre-treatment of immune splenocytes with either mitomycin C or x-irradiation, indicating that actively proliferating cells are required for suppressor function. Resistance of C3H/HeJ mice to SL3235-induced suppression was not due to a lesser bacterial load in vivo, since a higher number of SL3235 organisms was seen in C3H/HeJ spleens compared to C3HeB/FeJ mice. Rather, resistance of C3H/HeJ mice correlated with their reduced ability to recruit macrophages and other inflammatory cells into the spleen, as evidenced by the significantly smaller degree of splenomegaly induced in these mice following immunization with SL3235.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-278
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • C3H/HeJ mice
  • Salmonella
  • immunosuppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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