J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2015 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Interferon-γ-Induced Nitric Oxide Synthase-2 Contributes to Blood/Brain Barrier Dysfunction and Acute Mortality in Experimental Streptococcus pneumoniaeMeningitis.

Yau B1, Mitchell AJ1,2, Too LK1, Ball HJ1, Hunt NH1.

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The proinflammatory cytokine interferon-gamma (IFNγ) recently was shown to play a crucial role in experimental pneumococcal meningitis (PM) pathogenesis, and we aimed in this study to investigate IFNγ-driven nitric oxide synthase-2 (NOS2)-mediated pathogenesis of murine PM. We demonstrate that costimulation of toll-like receptors and IFNγ receptors was synergistic for NOS2 expression in cultured murine microglia. Using an experimental PM model, wild-type mice treated with anti-IFNγ antibody, as well as IFNγ and NOS2 gene knockout (GKO) mice, were inoculated intracerebroventricularly with 103 colony-forming units of Streptococcus pneumoniae (WU2 strain). Mice were monitored daily during a 200-h disease course to assess survival rate and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability measured at 48 h. IFNγ deficiency was protective in PM, with an approximate 3-fold increase in survival rates in both antibody-treated and IFNγ GKO mice compared to controls (P < 0.01). At 48 h postinoculation, brain NOS2 mRNA expression was significantly increased in an IFNγ-dependent manner. Mortality was significantly delayed in NOS2 GKO mice compared to controls (P < 0.01), and BBB dysfunction was reduced by 54% in IFNγ GKO mice and abolished in NOS2 GKO. These data suggest that IFNγ-dependent expression of NOS2 in the brain contributes to BBB breakdown and early mortality in murine PM.

PMID: 26418460 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]