Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18354217
J. Immunol. 2008 Apr;180(7):4924-30
The intestinal tract of adult mice is naturally resistant to infection by Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery in humans. Conversely, newborn mice are highly susceptible to intragastric Shigella infection and develop inflammatory lesions of the jejunal mucosa, very similar to those observed in the colon of dysenteric patients. However, the susceptibility period is short and one week after birth, animals have acquired a status of resistance characteristic of adult animals. To identify the developmental changes controlling the switch from disease susceptibility to resistance, we performed global gene expression analysis on noninfected and infected intestinal tissues taken from 4-day- and 7-day-old animals. Transcriptomic analysis of 4-day-old mice infected with the invasive Shigella strain showed a profile reflecting a strong inflammatory response with no evidence for retro-control, suggesting that the invasive process had occurred, whereas inflammation had been controlled after infection with the noninvasive strain. Differences in gene expression profiles between noninfected 4-day- and 7-day-old mice corresponded mainly to genes encoding anti-microbial peptides and proteases, suggesting that these molecules could be candidates for host antimicrobial resistance in the course of shigellosis. Indeed, expression of genes specific of Paneth cells was higher in 7-day- than in 4-day-old mice, and histological analysis indicated that Paneth cells were present only at day 7. Finally, using Sox9(flox/flox)-vil-cre mice, we showed that depletion of Paneth cells restored the susceptibility to Shigella of 7-day-old mice, clearly indicating that Paneth cells development is crucial for the clearance of intestinal infection.