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We have previously shown that Arcobacter butzleri infection induces Toll-like receptor (TLR) -4 dependent immune responses in perorally infected gnotobiotic IL-10−/− mice. Here, we analyzed TLR-4-dependent expression of genes encoding inflammatory mediators and matrix-degrading gelatinases MMP-2 and -9 in the small and large intestines of gnotobiotic TLR-4-deficient IL-10−/− mice that were perorally infected with A. butzleri strains CCUG 30485 or C1, of human and chicken origin, respectively. At day 6 following A. butzleri infection, colonic mucin-2 mRNA, as integral part of the intestinal mucus layer, was downregulated in the colon, but not ileum, of IL-10−/− but not TLR-4−/− IL-10−/− mice. CCUG 30485 strain-infected TLR-4-deficient IL-10−/− mice displayed less distinctly upregulated IFN-γ, IL-17A, and IL-1β mRNA levels in ileum and colon, which was also true for colonic IL-22. These changes were accompanied by upregulated colonic MMP-2 and ileal MMP-9 mRNA exclusively in IL-10−/− mice. In conclusion, TLR-4 is essentially involved in A. butzleri mediated modulation of gene expression in the intestines of gnotobiotic IL-10−/− mice.

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We have previously shown that Arcobacter butzleri induces intestinal, extra-intestinal, and systemic immune responses in perorally infected gnotobiotic IL-10−/− mice in a strain-dependent fashion. Here, we present a comprehensive survey of small and large intestinal expression profiles of inflammatory and regulatory mediators as well as of the matrix-degrading gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 following murine A. butzleri infection. Gnotobiotic IL-10−/− mice were infected with A. butzleri strains CCUG 30485 or C1 of human and chicken origin, respectively. At day 6 following A. butzleri infection, mucin-2 mRNA, an integral part of the intestinal mucus layer, was downregulated in the colon, whereas TNF and IL-23p19 mRNA were upregulated in the ileum. Furthermore, IFN-γ, IL-17A, IL-1β, and IL-22 mRNA were upregulated in both colonic and ileal ex vivo biopsies at day 6 post strain CCUG 30485 infection. These changes were accompanied by downregulated colonic MMP-9 levels, whereas both MMP-2 and MMP-9 mRNA were upregulated in the ileum. In conclusion, these data indicate that A. butzleri infection induces changes in the expression of genes involved in pro-inflammatory and regulatory immune responses as well as in tissue degradation.

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