Interferon-γ interferes with host cell metabolism during intracellular Chlamydia trachomatis infection

Kensuke Shima*, Nadja Kaeding, Iretiolu Mayokun Ogunsulire, Inga Kaufhold, Matthias Klinger, Jan Rupp

*Corresponding author for this work


Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) is a central mediator of host immune responses including T-cell differentiation and activation of macrophages for the control of bacterial pathogens. Anti-bacterial mechanisms of IFN-γ against the obligate intracellular bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis in epithelial cells have been intensively investigated in the past, focusing on cellular tryptophan depletion by an IFN-γ induced expression of the indoleamine 2, 3-deoxygenase (IDO). In this study, we could show that IFN-γ treatment caused a significant reduction of the host cell glycolysis that was accompanied by a reduction of glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1) and hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression. Furthermore, C. trachomatis induced enhancement of glycolytic and mitochondrial activation were significantly suppressed by IFN-γ treatment. We could further show that glucose starvation, as observed under IFN-γ treatment, was associated with an attenuated antimicrobial efficacy of doxycycline (DOX) against C. trachomatis. In conclusions, anti-chlamydial activity of IFN-γ goes beyond tryptophan depletion including interference with cellular energy metabolism resulting reduced progeny, but also impaired antimicrobial susceptibility of C. trachomatis.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2018

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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