Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)


Biomedical Sciences

Date of Award

December 1993


Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) replicates in macrophages, but is inhibited by IFN-$\gamma$ or LPS. IFN-$\gamma$ and/or LPS induced nitrite production in mouse peritoneal macrophages, macrophage cell lines (RAW264.7 and J774A.1) and McCoy cells. Kinetic studies indicated that peak production occurred 48 hours post-treatment. CT infection itself was insufficient to induce nitrite production, but resulted in enhancement of nitrite production in IFN-$\gamma$-treated cells. Treatment with IFN-$\gamma$ or LPS resulted in significant inhibition of CT replication in these cells. Strong correlation between nitrite production and inhibition of CT replication was observed in RAW264.7 and J774A.1 cells (correlation coefficients: $-$0.93 and $-$0.94, p $<$ 0.001). N$\sp{\rm g}$- monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) specifically inhibited nitrite production and partially reversed inhibition of CT replication in macrophage cell lines. NOS mRNA was measured in RAW264.7 cells by Northern blot and Dot blot hybridization. Strong correlation between NOS mRNA expression and inhibition of CT replication (correlation coefficient: $-$0.97, p $<$ 0.05) was observed. Anti-TNF-$\alpha$ antibody completely neutralized the biological activity of TNF-$\alpha$ secreted by LPS-treated RAW264.7 cells, yet the antibody neither reduced nitrite production nor restored CT replication. Combination of the antibody and L-NMMA significantly enhanced restoration of CT replication. In peritoneal macrophages, inhibition of CT replication induced by IFN-$\gamma$ was partially restored by L-NMMA or anti-TNF-$\alpha$ antibody. In McCoy cells, inhibition of CT replication induced by IFN-$\gamma$ and LPS was not significantly restored by L-NMMA. Great restoration of CT replication by 1 mM L-NMMA was observed in LPS-treated J774A.1 cells (31%), but not in IFN-$\gamma$-treated cells (5%). Our data indicate that (1) NO production is one of the mechanisms for inhibition of CT replication in IFN-$\gamma$-activated peritoneal macrophages and RAW264.7 cells; (2) NO plays a significant role in CT inhibition in LPS-treated macrophage cell lines, but not peritoneal macrophages; (3) TNF-$\alpha$ may be associated with inhibition, but the mechanism(s) may not involve NO production; (4) NO production may not be the mechanism for CT inhibition in McCoy cells treated with IFN-$\gamma$ and LPS.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted