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Aust, Vanessa; Kress, Eugenia; Abraham, Stephanie; Schröder, Nicole; Kipp, Markus; Stope, Matthias B.; Pufe, Thomas; Tauber, Simone C.; Brandenburg, Lars-Ove (2018): Lack of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 3 leads to decreased survival and reduced immune response after bacterial meningitis. In: Cytokine, Vol. 111: pp. 246-254
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Abstract

Pneumococcal meningitis, caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, is the most common type of bacterial meningitis. The clinical management of this disease has been challenged by the emergence of multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, requiring the urgent development of new therapeutic alternatives. Over the course of bacterial meningitis, pathogen invasion is accompanied by a massive recruitment of peripheral immune cells, especially neutrophil granulocytes, which are recruited under the coordination of several cytokines and chemokines. Here, we used chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 3 (Ccl3)-deficient mice to investigate the functional role of CCL3 in a mouse model of pneumococcal meningitis. Following intrathecal infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae Ccl3-deficient mice presented a significantly shorter survival and higher bacterial load than wildtype mice, paralleled by an ameliorated infiltration of neutrophil granulocytes into the CNS. Blood sample analysis revealed that infected Ccl3-deficient mice showed a significant decrease in erythrocytes, hemoglobin and hematocrit as well as in the number of banded neutrophils. Moreover, infected Ccl3-deficient mice showed an altered cytokine expression profile. Glial cell activation remained unchanged in both genotypes. In summary, this study demonstrates that CCL3 is beneficial in Streptococcus pneumoniae-induced meningitis. Pharmacological modulation of the CCL3 pathways might, therefore, represent a future therapeutic option to manage Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis.