Cell death and inflammation during infection with the obligate intracellular pathogen, Chlamydia

Biochimie. 2003 Aug;85(8):763-9.

Cell death and inflammation during infection with the obligate intracellulari pathogen, Chlamydia.

Perfettini JL, Hospital V, Stahl L, Jungas T, Verbeke P, Ojcius DM.

Laboratoire Apoptose, Cancer et Immunite, CNRS UMR 1599, Institut Gustave Roussy, 39, rue Camille-Desmoulins, 94805 Villejuif cedex, France.

Infectionsi by Chlamydia are followed by a strong inflammatory response, which is necessary to eliminate the infection, but at the same time is responsible for the pathology of infection. Resistance of infected cells against apoptosisi induced by external ligands, together with the effects of IFNgamma secreted during infection, would be expected to contribute to persistence of infection. Secretion of TNFalpha plays an important role during clearance of the chlamydiae, but also triggers apoptosis of uninfected cells in infected tissues. Apoptosis of infected host-cells towards the end of the infection cycle is thought to participate in the release of chlamydiae from infected cells and propagation of the infection. Dysregulation of the apoptotic program during infection leads to a less efficient infection, but paradoxically, results in a higher inflammatory response and more severe pathology.