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Open Access Housing Conditions Modulate the Severity of Mycoplasma pulmonis Infection in Mice Deficient in Class A Scavenger Receptor

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Mycoplasmosis is a frequent causative microbial agent of community-acquired pneumonia and has been linked to exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The macrophage class A scavenger receptor (SRA) facilitates the clearance of noxious particles, oxidants, and infectious organisms by alveolar macrophages. We examined wildtype and SRA –/– mice, housed in either individually ventilated or static filter-top cages that were cycled with fresh bedding every 14 d, as a model of gene–environment interaction on the outcome of pulmonary Mycoplasma pulmonis infection. Intracage NH3 gas measurements were recorded daily prior to infection. Mice were intranasally infected with 1 × 10 7 cfu M. pulmonis UAB CT and evaluated at 3, 7, and 14 d after inoculation. Wildtype mice cleared 99.5% of pulmonary M. pulmonis by 3 d after infection but remained chronically infected through the study. SRA –/– mice were chronically infected with 40-fold higher mycoplasma numbers than were wildtype mice. M. pulmonis caused a chronic mixed inflammatory response that was accompanied with high levels of IL1β, KC, MCP1, and TNFα in SRA –/– mice, whereas pulmonary inflammation in WT mice was represented by a monocytosis with elevation of IL1β. Housing had a prominent influence on the severity and persistence of mycoplasmosis in SRA –/– mice. SRA -/- mice housed in static cages had an improved recovery and significant changes in surfactant proteins SPA and SPD compared with baseline levels. These results indicate that SRA is required to prevent chronic mycoplasma infection of the lung. Furthermore, environmental conditions may exacerbate chronic inflammation in M. pulmonis-infected SRA –/– mice.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA 2: Department of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA 3: Department of Genetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA 4: Department of Comparative Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA; Department of Pathology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA 5: Department of Pediatrics, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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