Mycoplasma pneumoniae induces host-dependent pulmonary inflammation and airway obstruction in mice

Monica Fonseca-Aten, Ana M. Ríos, Asunción Mejías, Susana Chávez-Bueno, Kathy Katz, Ana M. Gómez, George H. McCracken, R. Doug Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Respiratory tract infections result in wheezing in a subset of patients. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common etiologic agent of acute respiratory infection in children and adults that has been associated with wheezing in 20-40% of individuals. The current study was undertaken to elucidate the host-dependent pulmonary and immunologic response to M. pneumoniae respiratory infection by studying mice with different immunogenetic backgrounds (BALB/c mice versus C57BL/6 mice). After M. pneumoniae infection, only BALB/c mice developed significant airway obstruction (AO) compared with controls. M. pneumoniae-infected BALB/c mice manifested significantly elevated airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) compared with C57BL/6 mice 4 and 7 d after inoculation as well as BALB/c control mice. Compared with C57BL/6 mice, BALB/c mice developed worse pulmonary inflammation, including greater peribronchial infiltrates. Infected BALB/c mice had significantly higher concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-12, KC (functional IL-8), and macrophage inflammatory protein 1α in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid compared with infected C57BL/6 mice. No differences in IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor concentrations were found. The mice in this study exhibited host-dependent infection-related AO and AHR associated with chemokine and T-helper type (Th)1 pulmonary host response and not Th2 response after M. pneumoniae infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Airway hyperresponsiveness
  • Airway obstruction
  • Asthma
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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