Chlamydia pneumoniae uses blood monocytes (PBMC) for systemic dissemination, persists in atherosclerotic lesions, and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. During transmigration in a newly developed transendothelial migration model (TEM) C. pneumoniae-infected PBMC spread their infection to endothelial cells. Transmigrated PBMC retained their infectivity and transmitted the pathogen to smooth muscle cells in the lower chamber of the TEM. Detection of chlamydial HSP60 mRNA proved pathogen viability and virulence. We conclude that PBMC can spread chlamydial infection to vascular wall cells and we suggest the TEM as a novel tool to analyze host-pathogen interactions in vascular chlamydial infections.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)