Pulmonary clearance of Mycoplasma pulmonis in C57BL/6N and C3H/HeN mice

R. F. Parker, J. K. Davis, D. K. Blalock, R. B. Thorp, J. W. Simecka, G. H. Cassell

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13 Scopus citations


In C57BL/6N and C3H/HeN mice known to be free of all murine pathogens and matched for age, sex, and environmental factors, pulmonary clearance was measured over a 72-h time period after exposure to infectious aerosols of 35S-labeled Mycoplasma pulmonis. Reduced clearance of M. pulmonis in C3H/HeN mice relative to C57BL/6N mice was primarily due to impaired mycoplasmacidal activity in the lungs of the C3H/HeN mice. The C3H/HeN mice also had a slightly slower rate of mechanical transport of radiolabel from the lungs in the first 4 h after infection relative to the C57BL/6N mice but not at any later times. By 72 h after infection (relative to 0 h, C3H/HeN mice had an over 4,000% (1.75 x 107 versus 4.30 x 105) increase in neutrophils and an over 18,000% (more than 2 orders of magnitude) increase in numbers of M. pulmonis recovered from mechanically disaggregated lungs. In contrast, C57BL/6N mice reduced the number of M. pulmonis present by over 83% (nearly 2 orders of magnitude) before any increase in inflammatory cells, which was only a slight increase in lymphocytes and macrophages at 24 h after infection. These results directly link decreased mycoplasmal pulmonary clearance in C3H/HeN mice with the increased susceptibility to, and severity of, murine respiratory mycoplasmosis observed in this strain. The resistance of C57BL/6N mice appears to be related to nonspecific host defense mechanisms responsible for limiting the extent of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2631-2635
Number of pages5
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1987


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