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Reactive Oxygen Species Produced by the NADPH Oxidase 2 Complex in Monocytes Protect Mice from Bacterial Infections

Journal article
Authors A. Pizzolla
M. Hultqvist
B. Nilson
M. J. Grimm
Tove Eneljung
Ing-Marie Jonsson
Margareta Verdrengh
T. Kelkka
Inger Gjertsson
B. H. Segal
R. Holmdahl
Published in Journal of Immunology
Volume 188
Issue 10
Pages 5003-5011
ISSN 0022-1767
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Pages 5003-5011
Language en
Subject categories Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections. CGD results from defective production of reactive oxygen species by phagocytes caused by mutations in genes encoding the NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) complex subunits. Mice with a spontaneous mutation in Ncf1, which encodes the NCF1 (p47(Phox)) subunit of NOX2, have defective phagocyte NOX2 activity. These mice occasionally develop local spontaneous infections by Staphylococcus xylosus or by the common CGD pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Ncf1 mutant mice were more susceptible to systemic challenge with these bacteria than were wild-type mice. Transgenic Ncf1 mutant mice harboring the wild-type Ncf1 gene under the human CD68 promoter (MN+ mice) gained the expression of NCF1 and functional NOX2 activity specifically in monocytes/macrophages, although minimal NOX2 activity was also detected in some CD11b(+)Ly6G(+) cells defined as neutrophils. MN+ mice did not develop spontaneous infection and were more resistant to administered staphylococcal infections compared with MN- mice. Most strikingly, MN+ mice survived after being administered Burkholderia cepacia, an opportunistic pathogen in CGD patients, whereas MN- mice died. Thus, monocyte/macrophage expression of functional NCF1 protected against spontaneous and administered bacterial infections. The Journal of Immunology, 2012, 188: 5003-5011.

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