Abstract Title:

Effect of alcohol consumption on host release of interleukin-17 during pulmonary infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Abstract Source:

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2001 Jun;25(6):872-81. PMID: 11410724

Abstract Author(s):

J E Shellito, M quan Zheng, P Ye, S Ruan, M K Shean, J Kolls


BACKGROUND: A link between alcohol abuse and bacterial pneumonia has been recognized for centuries, but mechanisms to explain this relationship are unclarified. Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a lymphocyte-derived cytokine that is part of the inflammatory cytokine cascade. Previous studies from our laboratory indicated that IL-17 is released in lung tissue in a murine model of bacterial pneumonia caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae. The effects of alcohol consumption on pulmonary release of IL-17 are unknown. METHODS: Mice were maintained on 20% ethanol in drinking water or on a control diet without alcohol. After 2 weeks, alcohol and control mice were challenged with intratracheal K. pneumoniae. Mice were followed for survival after bacterial challenge, neutrophil recruitment was assayed as myeloperoxidase, and IL-17 was measured in lung lavage fluid by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In additional experiments, splenocytes from control mice were incubated with ethanol in vitro, and release of IL-17 was measured in culture supernatants. Finally, control and alcohol mice received intrapulmonary gene transfer of E-1-deleted adenovirus containing the murine IL-17 gene. These mice were then challenged with K. pneumoniae and followed for survival and neutrophil recruitment. RESULTS: In these studies, we demonstrate that a 2-week history of ethanol consumption in mice suppresses release of IL-17 into lung tissue, decreases neutrophil recruitment, and increases mortality from experimental K. pneumonia. In vitro experiments confirm a direct suppressive effect of ethanol on the release of IL-17 from splenocytes. In vivo administration of the IL-17 gene in an adenoviral vector to alcohol-consuming mice results in release of IL-17 into lavage fluid and normalizes neutrophil recruitment and mortality after bacterial challenge. CONCLUSIONS: The results of these experiments strongly implicate IL-17 as an important pathway for the immunosuppression associated with alcohol abuse and support gene therapeutic approaches to augment immune function in the alcoholic host or to treat infections associated with alcoholism.

Study Type : Animal Study

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