Salmonella Enterica serovar Typhimurium Infection in Mouse Pregnancy
Salmonella are Gram-negative, intracellular food-borne pathogens that cause pregnancy complications. In pregnant mice, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S.Tm) infection results in placental bacterial replication, inflammation, necrosis, and fetal loss by unknown mechanisms. Necroptosis, or programmed necrosis mediated by RIPK3 (receptor-interacting protein kinase 3), an inflammatory cell death pathway, is implicated in the pathogenesis of S.Tm in non-pregnant mice. This goal of this thesis was to investigate the role of necroptosis in the pathogenesis of S.Tm infection during mouse pregnancy. I hypothesized that elimination of the key necroptotic cell death protein RIPK3 would decrease placental inflammation and trophoblast cell death, and increase conceptus survival compared to controls. Mice expressing a functional Slc11a1 (encodes the natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1, NRAMP1) gene with or without RIPK3 function (Ripk3-/-Slc11a1+/+ compared to Slc11a1+/+) were infected with 103 S.Tm by tail vein injection on gestational day (GD) 12. Mice were euthanized on GD 14 (48h post-infection) or GD 15 (72h post-infection) and implantation sites (IS) and maternal serum were harvested for analyses. In nearly all challenged mice (except one outlier), S.Tm were detected in most IS within a litter but there was limited immune cell infiltration, placental damage or cell death in Slc11a1 competent mice regardless of Ripk3 gene deletion. Maternal serum cytokine analyses confirmed lack of maternal immune responses to S.Tm infection. IS amongst the litter of a single dam (Ripk3-/-Slc11a1+/+ at 72h postinfection) displayed heavy but not universal placental S.Tm infection of decidual tissues and spongiotrophoblast, associated with elevated maternal serum pro-inflammatory cytokines. S.Tm infection of the fetal yolk sac (YS) was observed in 54.5% of IS from this dam. YS infection was confirmed in archival samples in mice expressing Ripk3 with intact Slc11a1 and in mice lacking functional Slc11a1. In Slc11a1 incompetent mice, S.Tm were detected in placental labyrinthine trophoblast. Based on the available data, this thesis suggests that Ripk3 and necroptosis have no significant roles in either promotion or prevention of progressive Salmonella infection during mouse pregnancy. It also provides pilot data that NRAMP1 controls placental localization and lethality due to YS infection.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/15309
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