ICR mice were infected intranasally with Mycoplasma pulmonis
isolated freshly from the lungs of a rat with pneumonia. We demonstrated with high reproducibility the expressions of messenger RNAs of cytokines, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interferon gamma (IFNγ) in the lung tissue of M. pulmonis
-infected mice by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and confirmed specific mRNA of the cytokines by restriction endonuclease digestion. Both the viable population of M. pulmonis
in the lung tissue and the titers of the neutralizing antibody in the serum increased between 7 and 21 days, and reached their maximum 35 days after infection. The pneumonia in mice progresses with the development of lung lesions after 7 days of infection. The early lesions are characterized primarily by neutrophils and edema in the alveolar spaces. mRNAs prepared from the lung tissue of M. pulmonis
-infected and -uninfected mice were also tested for the presence of messages specific to TNFα and IFNγ by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The expression of the genes encoding TNFα and IFNγ was constitutively demonstrated from 24hr through 35 days after the intranasal inoculation of M. pulmonis
. Furthermore, cells of two types, adherent and nonadherent cells, in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids obtained from the mice 3 weeks after inoculation of M. pulmonis
were also found to express the genes of TNFα and IFNγ respectively. These data suggest that these cytokines would play a role in both stimulation in the development of pathological changes in mycoplasmal infection, affecting the inflammatory responses.
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